John Buchanan was "pleased” his bowlers were finally challenged when New Zealand almost pulled off a miracle win in Perth on Sunday. Buchanan had complained Australia had not been tested during the opening half of the CB Series and when the challenge came they almost faltered.
Australia's below-par effort in the eight-run win resulted in Shaun Tait being called up for the final two preliminary games. "I was not sitting there enjoying our bowlers being put into the stands, but from a bigger-picture perspective, that's been a very good exercise for us,” Buchanan told AAP. "We successfully defended that large score, but both Ricky Ponting and myself would always expect that we could defend it better than that. It does pinpoint a few of the things that we had talked about.”
Buchanan said there would be some "fine-tuning” over the next week for the final fast-bowling position for the World Cup. "If Shane Watson is fit and selected for the World Cup, then really you'd be looking at probably five pace bowlers in addition to him,” Buchanan said. "Shaun has demonstrated that he bowls a good bouncer and a good yorker. They are pretty critical elements in terms of bowling in one-day cricket."
The World Cup will be Buchanan's last engagement with the national team, but he continues to innovate and has started using two-way radios to talk to his coaching staff on the boundary. Mike Young, the fielding assistant, was spotted with an earpiece during Sunday's match and Buchanan said New Zealand were employing a similar tactic.
"I don't think it's anything like Hansie Cronje and Bob Woolmer," Buchanan told AAP. "That was the captain and the coach discussing [in the 1999 World Cup] how the game would be enacted as it went along, so I don't see it as anything like that."
Buchanan said it was important to be able to get messages to coaching staff quickly. "My communication certainly never crossed any lines of communication between the captain and his player on the field,” he said. "A number of teams, I mean, New Zealand do exactly the same thing."