Rival coach backs Aussie pace policy
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