SL coach desperate not to think of Australia


COLOMBO – Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss was trying on Monday not to think about the mouth-watering World Cup clash against his Australian compatriots, opting to concentrate on Kenya instead. The 1996 champions went down to Pakistan by a narrow 11-run margin in their Group A match on Saturday and Bayliss is more concerned about not slipping up against Kenya on Tuesday. “Our thoughts are on the Kenya match tomorrow,” said Bayliss. “But looking forward to Australia (March 5), our guys are reasonably confident because we had a good tour of Australia in November where we beat them in a one-day series.”
Bayliss, who took over as coach after Sri Lanka finished runners-up to Australia in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, said his team needed to show consistency on Tuesday against a Kenya side who have lost both their matches “The fact that we didn’t win our last game will stop complacency. Our guys are very conscious of playing consistently good cricket, which will be important against Kenya,” said 48-year-old Bayliss. Bayliss, a former New South Wales player, said Australia will be difficult but not unbeatable.
“From the fact that we beat Australia in Australia our guys are confident but they are not number one for nothing, they’re a good team and they will be very difficult to beat. “It’s a very open competition. We are confident going forward because we have played well against Australia recently, but at the moment we are thinking about Kenya,” said Bayliss, who praised his team’s performance against Pakistan.
“I thought we played some very good cricket for a lot of the Pakistan game. We had a couple of periods where we didn’t play as well as we would like,” added Bayliss of the match where his team failed to chase a 278-run target.
He admitted a dangerous Pakistan team, who currently top Group A, should not be written off. “I would like to speak to anyone who was writing them off,” said Bayliss, of Shahid Afridi’s team. “We have played them recently, we have played a lot against them and know that they have a lot of dangerous players. They have got as good a chance as anyone else to win this World Cup.” Bayliss hoped his players will improve further.