Karachi: Legendary Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram said yesterday England's new coach Trevor Bayliss would help make the Ashes a closer contest despite Australia starting out as hot favourites.

Trevor Bayliss and Wasim Akram
Trevor Bayliss and Wasim Akram 

The left-armer, who was Kolkata Knight Riders' bowling coach in the Indian Premier 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 will start his England stint with the first Ashes Test starting in Cardiff from July 8.

'Aussies are favourites'
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.