Our bowlers have really struggled in patches against India: Brett Lee
Brett Lee feels Australia's bowlers have not been consistent. © AFP

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee has identified the lack of impact Australia’s Ashes-winning bowling attack has had in two of four Tests of the ongoing series with India as hugely influential to the hosts being down 1-2 with a day remaining in the final Test.

In an interview with Kolkata’s The Telegraph, the 42-year-old Lee was critical of Australia’s batting as well, but stressed on the collective effort of pace bowlers Mitchell StarcJosh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins and the offspinner Nathan Lyon as a salient feature.

“Clearly, Australia haven’t played their best cricket. India have been brilliant. The reality is that there have been patches when our bowlers have really struggled. In the only India innings at the SCG, no more than 30 balls would have hit the stumps,” he said. “No wonder, India declared past 600. My question is simple: How can you get any team out if, over 167.2 overs, you bowl only 30 or so balls which would have gone on to hit the stumps?

“Our batsmen just didn’t get the runs they’re capable of, whereas India had two totals of over 300, one 443/7 declared and, then, the 622/7 declared at the SCG. In a completed innings, India went below 250 no more than once .. those figures do the talking,” said Lee.

Asked to identify the stand-out factors for India’s series-winning success, Lee pinpointed the success of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara’s record-setting batting and Virat Kohli’s captaincy.

“The performances of Jasprit Bumrah (21 wickets), Cheteshwar Pujara (521 runs), Mohammed Shami (16 wickets) … Virat Kohli’s captaincy as well,” he said. “Virat has shown the correct aggression, or aggression at the right time. Then, his field placements have been wonderful. Now, Virat is on the cusp of history, becoming the first captain from India to win a Test series on our soil. Congratulations to him and India.

“If I had to bowl to Pujara, I would have prayed! Seriously, he is so good and puts such a heavy price on his wicket. Pujara really is a freak of nature… Look at his statistics… Three hundreds. Our best? [Marcus] Harris’s 79 in the first innings at the SCG.”

Lee was hopeful of Australia coming back from the series defeat.

“It hurts. Hurts me, hurts the Australian public. But, believe me, we will come back stronger once the lessons are taken on board,” he said.