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Lee ready to fire for Aussies

Australian paceman Brett Lee, who missed the one-day World Cup with an ankle injury, is ready to make up for lost time at the World Twenty20 championship in South Africa.

"We aren't the most experienced team and there will be a bit of pressure on us, but we have to try and get into the game as quickly as possible and think on our feet, and learn as soon as we possibly can," Lee said.

"Twenty20 is a game we don't really have a lot of experience in and it's going to be a major challenge for us.

"It's the team that works out what's going on quicker than their opponents that will take out the championship."

Lee stressed he wouldn't be backing off on the pace for a more conservative approach in a bid to be more economical.

"I think if you've got a guy who can bowl genuine pace it's an advantage."

Australia may be favourites to win the inaugural title but they freely admit to having little experience or tactical nouse in the ultra-short form of the game.

The current one-day world champions and top ranked Test team have played only five Twenty20 internationals and most of the current squad haven't even played the game at domestic level.

"The games we've played over the past few years have been treated as good, fun, lighthearted contests," said skipper Ricky Ponting before the team's departure for South Africa.

"That was one of the good things about the game, I thought. I think you play your best cricket when you are out there having a bit of fun.

However, Ponting, whose departure for the tournament has been delayed because of "family reasons" said the prospect of adding to Australia's already bulging trophy cabinet meant his players would not be treating the tournament as a "hit and giggle" affair.

"Now we're playing a World Cup, players will be worried about stats and I think that might take away a bit of the mystery and beauty of the game, but we'll see," he said.

Ponting said while the Australians would be going all out win the trophy, most of the team had little idea of how to approach the game.

The Australians have had an extended break since winning the World Cup in the West Indies earlier in the year, which Ponting believes will work in their favour.

"We're coming off no cricket, so all the guys are keen to get into the nets and start practising and working hard again," he said.

The Australian squad is full of potential match-winners, with the depth of the batting line-up a key reason why they are the bookies' favourites.

Openers Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist can savage any attack, but if they go cheaply the Australians can still call on Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey and Andrew Symonds, perhaps the man most suited to the shortened format.

The bowling stocks have been boosted by the return to fitness of Lee, who will be backed up the steady Stuart Clark and relative newcomers Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus.

The only specialist spin bowler is Brad Hogg, but Symonds' ability to bowl both medium pace and off-spin, could also prove crucial to Australia's chances.

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source - iafrica.com

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