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Ashes agony spurs Lee on

NatWest Series

Brett Lee & Paul Collingwood

Brett Lee makes his presence felt in one-day colours as Australia open up a 2-0 lead in the seven-game NatWest Series

Brett Lee has put his Ashes frustration behind him and is intent on inflicting further misery on England during the remainder of Australia’s tour.

The pace bowler’s hopes of featuring in the Ashes, after battling back from ankle surgery, were dashed when he tweaked a rib muscle on the eve of the series.

Although he declared himself fit for the final two Tests, he was overlooked, but appeared intent on making his mark on this tour with impressively quick spells in the first two games of the NatWest Series.

“I can only say I know what I’m like and I know I was 100% but people said otherwise,” Lee, 32, said. “It’s behind me now; I don’t have any ill feeling about it.

“It’s unfortunate I didn’t play an Ashes Test over here but it’s history and I look forward to the one-dayers.

“You’ve got to accept the card you’ve been dealt and find a way that you as a person and a player can still give your best for the team.

“Even though you’re not in the XI, you’ve still got to help the others in the side that are doing the business.

Brett Lee

Lee, who claims he was fit for the final two Ashes Tests, has bowled with notable hostility in the one-day matches

“I would have loved to play the fourth and fifth Test match but that wasn’t the case. I’ve dealt with it now. I’ve got a wonderful opportunity to play the next five one-dayers for Australia.”

Australia were thrashed by 100 runs in the Twenty20 international at the Rose Bowl in 2005, a result which gave England confidence in the build-up to that momentous Ashes win.

But the situation is quite different now and a third Australia victory would put them on course to claim a consolation one-day series victory.

“We have obviously got a bit of momentum going into this third match and momentum in a series is huge,” Lee added.

“We’ve got to make sure we capitalise on that but also not look too far ahead because we have five more important matches.

“We have to really focus on the game here, and if we’re 3-0 up going to Lord’s then we’re in a pretty good spot.”

Australia captain Ricky Ponting rejoined the squad today following a two-week break but will not be considered until the fourth match of the campaign.

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