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Aussie pace ploy will be on test

I had wanted the India-England game to bring the tournament alive and it certainly did that. We have had a spate of exciting games and game changers, none more exciting than Kevin O'Brien, writes Steve Waugh.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2011 00:00 IST
Steve Waugh

I had wanted the India-England game to bring the tournament alive and it certainly did that. We have had a spate of exciting games and game changers, none more exciting than Kevin O'Brien. I had a stint with Ireland around 15 years ago, so I am for what this knock will do for cricket there. It changed the game and could possibly change O'Brien's life as well.

BOWLING THREATS
The action now moves to Sri Lanka who have a very important game against Australia. That match promises to be a great treat for us since it will be interesting to see how some of the head-to-head encounters will go.

The most interesting one will surely be between the toe-crushing slinger Lasith Malinga and the Australian top order.

It's hard to get your eye in against a bowler like that. The awkward angle, the natural, slingy action and the ability to incredibly control the pace of the ball make him a special bowler and, at his pace, a dreadfully difficult bowler.

However, the main challenge for the Australians would still be how they will play the spinners Muralitharan, Herath and Mendis in the middle overs.

DESTRUCTIVE DILSHAN
Sri Lanka had some batting issues during their surprise loss to Pakistan but there is no denying that their top order looks impressive.

Tillakaratne Dilshan versus Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee and Shaun Tait would also be an absorbing contest. There is more to him than the shot named after him, the dilscoop, and his wicket is crucial for Australia.

Sri Lanka is an incredible place to play cricket. And they have been pretty consistent in World Cups and start on equal footing against the champions.

SRI LANKA AHEAD
If I had to stick my neck out, I would say the hosts have a slight edge. They would be smarting after their loss to Pakistan.

Australia have an all-pace attack that suggests they are not going with a traditional subcontinent game plan. It has worked well so far, but it will be tested against the likes of Sangakkara and Jayawardene. Gameplan