KARACHI: Legendary Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram said Tuesday England’s new coach Trevor Bayliss would help make the Ashes a closer contest despite Australia starting out as hot favourites.
The left-armer, who was bowling coach for the Kolkata Knight Riders in India’s domestic Twenty20 league while Bayliss was head coach, said the Australian’s cool and collected approach would serve England well.
“Bayliss keeps it simple and his coaching module is very impressive,” Wasim said.
“At this level it should always be simple and Bayliss keeps it that way and I am sure his experience with Sri Lanka and New South Wales will help him in the Ashes.
“I am sure he will give a positive mindset to England besides spicing it with the Australian touch of aggression and that will make the Ashes more competitive. I am sure it will not be a one-sided affair.”
Bayliss guided Sri Lanka to the World Cup 2011 final before having a successful stint with the New South Wales state side. He will start his England stint with the first Ashes Test starting in Cardiff from July 8.
But Wasim added that defending champions Australia, who won the last Ashes 5-0 (in Australia last year) but had lost 3-0 in England in 2013, were still likely to prevail.
“There is no doubt Australia start as favourites because they have bowlers who can bowl at 145km/h and that gives them an edge,” he said.
“England will have to play out of their skins and they are rebuilding the side which will face tough times against Australia and it will be necessary to be at your best every hour and every session because Australia always play tough.”
And he tipped Steve Smith, the current number one world ranking Test batsman, to shine.
“Smith doesn’t talk less than a hundred and he will be the key to Australian batting once again.” -AFP