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Jun 24, 2009

Brett Lee 'jumping out of his skin': Ricky Ponting

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said fast bowler Brett Lee was "jumping out of his skin" in his mission to get back in the Test side ahead of the Ashes series 2009 in England.

Australia will play two matches with Sussex here at Hove starting on Wednesday and the England Lions, before the 1st Ashes Test gets underway in Cardiff on July 8.

And Skipper Ponting, speaking at Hove here on Monday, said of Brett Lee: "He's looking good at the moment. He's trained harder than I've ever seen him train before in the last couple of weeks, whether it would be with his bowling or in the gym or all the extra stuff he's been doing.

"Anyone that lays eyes on him can see how good a physical shape he is in, which is a real positive for us and a actual positive for him.

"I recognize he's jumping out of his skin to get back out there on Wednesday and start playing again. It's imperative for him and all our bowlers to take what opportunities come their way in the next couple of weeks.

"We have got two games, it's not as if it's going to be an out-and-out bowl-off or bat-off among any players. I just need to see what everyone's got in these conditions and what they can distribute for the team."

Australia finished up with more training time than they had planned for following their first round way out from the World Twenty20 in England earlier this month.

But an upbeat Rickey Ponting said his team were on course to defend successfully the Ashes they'd so forcefully regained under his leadership following their 5-0 series win on home soil in 2006-07

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