Karachi - Legendary Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram said on 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
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."