Brett Lee left out as Hamish Marshall puts New Zealand in control
In a surprise decision
, Brett Lee was left out of the Australian XI for the first test at Christchurch. Ponting won the toss and elected to bowl and things did not go according to plan
as New Zealand's new opening pair of Fleming and Cumming (making his debut) put on a half-century partnership. Then Cumming had a near-century stand with Marshall who was very impressive while making his first test century. Cumming was out for 74 and Vincent, making a comeback, stuck around with Marshall for a bit of a partnership. After he went, Astle helped Marshall guide the Kiwis home to the close of play.
New Zealand will obviously be very relieved at what happened today but they must make sure they win the majority of the sessions henceforth because it never takes too long for Australia to come back into the game and then control it. Glenn McGrath did not quite live upto his words
after he added Fleming and Astle to his list of favourite batsmen
I'm fairly sure the decision of the selectors to leave Lee out, in spite of the Kiwis quaking in their boots
at the sight of him, will be talked about for a long time. Lee has caused a few injuries
to the Kiwi batsmen, physically and mentally so it is a very odd decision for sure. My guess is that this means Lee will send a message out to several English counties saying 'Beam me over, Scotty'
, pun intended. Lee's mentor another chap whose name ended in "lee"
, and who could bowl a bit, has a few kind words