New Zealand coach impressed with Moody's men March 9, 2007

Bracewell tips Sri Lanka

Cricinfo staff



John Bracewell says Sri Lanka have "greater flexibility across the board for these conditions" © Getty Images

John Bracewell, the New Zealand coach, believes the conditions in the West Indies have pushed Sri Lanka towards World Cup favouritism. Bracewell made the assessment after watching his side lose to Bangladesh on a turning surface in Barbados on Tuesday and he will have another opportunity to gauge Tom Moody's squad in New Zealand's final warm-up on Friday.

"Sri Lanka, given those conditions we played on [against Bangladesh], have probably shifted as one of the tournament favourites," Bracewell told NZPA. "They have greater flexibility across the board for these conditions in terms of their spin, their part-time bowlers and their up-front swingers. They have the tools available and we need to adapt to that very quickly."

Bracewell said the two-wicket defeat to Bangladesh - it was the first time New Zealand had been beaten by them - could be the "best thing or the worst thing to happen to us". "It's a wake-up call, getting used to the conditions and respecting opposition we're going to come across in pool play," he said. "These are teams you're expected to beat, but if you're complacent and not quite ready then on these sorts of wickets they can kick you in the butt."