Lee given rest

Australia has continued its policy of resting key players with speedster Brett Lee to miss Friday's VB Series clash with South Africa at Telstra Dome.

With a finals berth in the VB Series all but sealed, Australian captain Ricky Ponting, refreshed from a two-game break, said it was a great opportunity to rest Lee and look outside the team's best XI in the build up to next year's World Cup in the Caribbean.

Lee's place in the XI will be taken by Western Australian paceman Brett Dorey, who was an unused substitute in Perth on Sunday, with James Hopes to be the super sub in the Victorian capital.

"I think it's a really good time for Brett. He's been up for a long time and doing what he does probably has more stress and more physical burnout than anybody else in the side so we felt now is an ideal time, an opportunity to give him a rest," said Ponting, who kept an eye on how his team was performing during his absence.

"Some of the guys prefer playing all the time but we've got to look a bit outside the current 11, what we think is our best 11, and look at some other players, hence the size of the squad in the first place."

Despite the temptation to continue playing Lee, who has taken 10 wickets at an average of 23 in the VB Series, Ponting said it was important to keep his strike bowler fresh and give opportunities to players on the fringe such as Dorey and Stuart Clark.

"You'd like to have Brett in your side all the time. But we've got to try and manage the squad as well as we can and manage him as well as we can," he said.

"He's been a great weapon for us in both forms of the game over the last 12 months and we've got to be a bit careful with him and make sure we are managing him well and this is an important part of that."

"With Dorey playing, it's a great opportunity to get a look at him. Certainly that's part of the reason for him playing here. There's one eye on looking a bit further ahead but we still feel we're obviously putting a very good team on the park that's capable of winning this game."

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