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'Pat Cummins must get the new ball' - Brett Lee
Pakistan tour of Australia 2019

'Pat Cummins must get the new ball' - Brett Lee

Brett Lee has urged Australia to use Pat Cummins with the new ball in the upcoming two-Test match series against Pakistan beginning November 21 in Brisbane.

Cummins didn't get a chance to strike early with the new ball in Ashes series earlier this year and only got an opportunity after Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc were done with scuffing up the new cherry.

The top-ranked bowler has bagged 123 wickets in 25 Tests at an average of 21.45 and has been the mainstay of Australia's bowling attack since the Sandpapergate scandal.

“Pat Cummins has to get the new ball, he must get the new ball. Don’t bowl him first-change. Sure, he can do it. But don’t waste him," Lee told AAP.

One would think, Brett Lee would know a thing or two about fast bowling because he dismissed 310 batsmen in his illustrious career and is the third-highest wicket-taker of all Australian speedsters.

“I don’t know if he’s been unfairly targeted as a guy who can play a number of roles. That’s been to his detriment I think.

After cementing the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers this year, Cummins has gone from strength to strength, delivering one probing spell after another and that is why Lee has pressed the Australia cricket management to hand new kookaburra to Cummins despite presence of Starc and Hazlewood in the ranks.

“Yes, we’ve got guys like Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc who can also bowl with the new ball.

“But I think you’ve got to pick who you believe is the best chance of taking a wicket.

“Worry about your first change when you have them three or four down," Lee opined.

Lee reckons Cummins has got the best chance to dismantle the top order and deserves a crack first up at Pakistan openers next Thursday at the start of the first Test.

Injuries took its toll on his career and kept him out of action for almost five years post-South Africa tour in 2011 but he didn't lose his focus, came back even stronger and has proven to be a formidable force.

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Lee was once in a similar situation like Cummins as he would bowl after Glenn McGrath and Damien Fleming but he grew in stature quickly and earned the right to bowl with the new ball as early as his fourth Test and thereon almost always opened the bowling for Australia.

"He (Cummins) is a good team man, but you’ve also got to go ‘hang on, if I had a choice I would rather get the new ball," Lee remarked.

The bowling spearhead has been brought on by skipper Tim Paine as a first change to frontline pacers for the last two summers.

"If I am Pat Cummins I am saying: ‘I want that new ball. I want choice of ends. I’ve shown what I can do through the Ashes, I’ve shown what I could do last summer.

“You can’t do that when you’re 18. But Pat Cummins, it’s not his first rodeo ... he’s the vice-captain," Lee added.