Lillee gave valuable inputs on ‘Fremantle Doctor’: Prasad


Perth : India’s bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad has revealed that Australian fast bowling great Dennis Lillee provided his fast bowlers valuable tips on using the ‘Fremantle Doctor’ wind in Perth.

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Lillee’s inputs were of great help for India’s rookie speedsters in storming through Australia’s barricade and mastermind a stunning 72-run win in the third Test here Saturday.

As the ‘Fremantle Doctor’ blew, India’s unheralded pace attack got the ball to swing madly at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground while Australia’s quicks floundered and could not decide what end who should be bowling from.

Prasad said Lillee, who is also a visiting coach at the Chennai-based MRF Pace Foundation, provided crucial information.

“He told me about the winds and how to use them. I worked under Dennis at the MRF pace foundation in Chennai and he is a very, very good friend of mine. Dennis told me about the winds but our pace bowlers had to go out there and do the job,” he said.

As Prasad claimed India’s quicks were now the “best in the business”, India’s joy was tempered when three of its superstars were axed from the one-day squad for next month’s triangular series.

In a selection that threatens to undermine the team’s preparation for this week’s Adelaide Test, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S Laxman were told they were not required to face Australia and Sri Lanka.

The decision to axe Ganguly was a major sore point.

Test skipper Anil Kumble has retired from one-day cricket, leaving the captaincy to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Fast bowler Sreesanth will return from a shoulder injury, while Harbhajan Singh has been picked, pending his appeal against a racial vilification charge.

Harbhajan was 12th man in the breakthrough third Test victory but he joined in celebrations as if he had played a key role. “They’ve done it for the country and, yes, they’ve done it for me,” Harbhajan said Sunday.

Sreesanth fired Australian emotions in the one-day series in India last October when he became involved in some ugly scenes with Andrew Symonds.

He has vowed not to change his approach when the two nations clash in a Twenty20 game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground Feb 1, and two days later at the Gabba, Brisbane, in the opening ODI.

“I grew up playing with my elder brothers’ friends who were almost 14 years older than me,” Sreesanth said.

“I guess I had to make a point that I was not scared of playing against anyone. And now I play my cricket with passion and don’t regret what I am doing.”