Australia has reached its pre-World Cup goals: Nielsen

Monday, February 28, 2011

COLOMBO - Australia coach Tim Nielsen believes the team’s World Cup form had reached its pre-tournament goals, and has reposed full faith in pacers Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson.

Boasting a perfect record after two matches with minnows Canada and Kenya still to be faced has all but ensured Australia’s qualification for the quarterfinals.

“With two wins under our belt and a big game next Saturday, everything’s probably exactly as we’d hoped,” The Sydney Morning herald quoted Nielsen, as saying.

“There was never any question in my mind we picked the right team. We picked the best team that Australia could pick to play in a World Cup. [The practice games] certainly gave us an opportunity to roll our quicks out [and] our batters were exposed to the conditions and what they can expect, especially batting in those middle overs against the spinning ball,” he said. “If we can use our change of pace and we can intimidate by bowling fast and at [the] batsmen, it’s hard to score at five, six and seven an over under those conditions. That’s our strength. That’s what we’ve worked on and that’s what we’ve used to have success in the past,” Nielsen added. The key to victory against Sri Lanka, according to Nielsen, is early wickets, perhaps alluding to captain Ricky Ponting’s gibe that Sri Lanka relies too heavily on star batting trio Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jaywawardene and Tillkaratne Dilshan. “We showed … the real firepower we have in our bowling makes it difficult for opposition teams to roll along at five and six an over, and take chances and not lose wickets against our bowling, which is what we set it up for,” Nielsen said.

“We want to take wickets in the first part of the innings and we’re backing our fast bowlers as the best ones to do that,” he said. (ANI)

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