Farbrace welcomes pressure


Published: Tuesday 27th January 2015 by The News Editor

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England are relishing the pressure of a Tri-Series shootout against India, according to assistant coach Paul Farbrace.

The pair go head to head in Perth on Friday, with the victors progressing to a final against hosts Australia two days later.

England had earlier established an advantage over their fellow tourists with a bonus-point win at the Gabba, but that was wiped out when India’s second game against the Australians ended in a washout.

While the mathematics and the weather might not have worked in England’s favour, the chance to get an advance taste of knockout cricket is no bad thing heading into next month’s World Cup.

“It doesn’t change things for us, in a sense it’s everything you want from this series,” said Farbrace.

“To have a must-win game on Friday is just what the World Cup is going to be about.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to play two of the best teams in the world in the space of three days.

“Effectively it’s a semi-final and a final. That’s what you want as often as possible at this level and that’s what we’re hoping to be involved in in the latter part of the World Cup.

“It’s a huge opportunity for us to play two of the best three teams in the world in the space of three days.”

A particularly important factor in that equation is the chance to set up one last match with Australia before the old rivals face one another on the opening day of the World Cup on February 14 at a sold-out MCG.

England’s record against their Ashes opponents leaves plenty to be desired in recent times and they have lost both of their meetings in the current series.

One was a comprehensive defeat, with Australia knocking off the runs more than 10 overs early, while the second was achieved without a host of first-choice players.

It is hardly the lead-in England want.

“Absolutely that’s an incentive,” said Farbrace.

“We’ve made big improvements from the Sydney game to the Hobart game and we want to play Australia again on Sunday because it’s another part of a learning curve.

“Every time we play is a massive advantage for us.

“We made great progress from being 33 for four in Sydney to a massive opening partnership (113) between Ian Bell and Moeen Ali in Hobart.

“We feel we made really good progress and we want to play them again to make more progress.”

Stuart Broad is one of the player’s who might benefit most from an additional Tri-Series outing before the World Cup begins.

He is an integral part of England’s gameplan but is still feeling his way back to top form having missed the last three one-day series due to tendinitis of the knee.

In the three competitive games on tour he has yet to take a wicket, but Farbrace has seen enough encouraging signs to suggest the seam bowler is not far short of his game-changing best.

“I think every game and every over Stuart bowls he is getting better and better,” said the former Sri Lanka coach.

“He’s a high-quality player for us, one of the best players in world cricket.

“He’s the sort of player who takes the game by the scruff of the neck…not every team has that many in their side.

“He’s someone who just needs to get back to 100 per cent and he’s not far off that. We’re really pleased with where he’s at.”

After giving the squad two days off upon arrival in Perth, Farbrace and head coach Peter Moores had the players back in full training on Tuesday, with more of the same lined up on Wednesday.

India, though, are not expected to train having expressed concerns about the heat in Perth.

Published: Tuesday 27th January 2015 by The News Editor

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