Ri­val coach backs Aussie pace pol­icy

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

SRI Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss backs Aus­tralia’s re­liance on pace bowl­ing for the World Cup and says the quicks will en­joy the bounce of the Colombo pitch.

Bayliss faces a dif­fi­cult as­sign­mentin Satur­day’s Group A clash with Aus­tralia as he at­tempts to keep the Sri Lankan cricket pub­lic on-side with a win over the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons fol­low­ing last week­end’s shock 11-run loss to Pak­istan.

Sri Lanka de­feated Kenya last night in Colombo.

Aus­tralia have cruised to wins over Zim­babwe and New Zealand.

Bayliss has seen enough to sug­gest the pace trio of Brett Lee, Mitchell John­son and Shaun Tait will be a hand­ful for his bats­men at Pre­madasa sta­dium.

‘‘ You pick the best bowlers you’ve got and play to your strengths and fast bowl­ing is Aus­tralia’s strength,’’ Bayliss said.

‘‘ They’ve done the right thing and gone with that. I think it’s sen­si­ble.

‘‘ We’re play­ing on three new pitches here. The pitch against Pak­istan was only the sec­ond game we’ve played on it ( at Colombo).

‘‘ The Pre­madasa wicket the other day was a good bat­ting wicket. There was rea­son­able carry, the ball came onto the bat and there was a bit of turn so it had some­thing for ev­ery­one.

‘‘ It’s a lot eas­ier than it has been to bat on. The wicket here is get­ting faster.

‘‘ The pace bowlers on their day are qual­ity. They’ll keep com­ing at the op­po­si­tion and you need to be on your game to beat them.

‘‘ We’re rea­son­ably con­fi­dent. We had a good tour of Aus­tralia re­cently where we beat them.

‘‘ But they aren’t the num­ber one-ranked one-day side for noth­ing.’’

Bayliss, a for­mer NSW player and coach, said Blues spear­head Lee was still very dif­fi­cult to counter de­spite los­ing some of the edge off his pace at 34.

‘‘ He’s had a lot of in­juries but in one way the amount of time he has missed is why he’s still go­ing,’’ Bayliss said.

Sri Lanka lost the 2007 World Cup fi­nal to Aus­tralia un­der coach Tom Moody and now it’s the turn of Bayliss to feel the heat from the home fans, who are de­mand­ing a ti­tle for the co-hosts.

The fi­nal will be played in Mum­bai on April 2.

SPEAR­HEAD: Aus­tralia fast bowler Mitchell John­son ( cen­tre) shares a laugh with team­mates dur­ing a net session in Colombo

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