Melbourne: Impressed by Australian team`s resurgence post Ashes humiliation, former national coach Tim Nielsen says the side could regain the top spot in world cricket within 12 months.
Nielsen had to step down after England crushed Australia 3-1 in the last Ashes series and South African Mickey Arthur replaced him.
Nielsen said Arthur has brought some positive changes in the side and the selectors too have done a good job by blooding youngsters in the side.
"I am sure a change of voice has been positive, a different perspective. Mickey has had the challenge of having new players come into the side," said Nielsen, referring to openers David Warner, Ed Cowan, pace tyros James Pattinson, and Pat Cummings.
"There is a genuine enthusiasm and want from some blokes to make their mark. Change is never a negative thing and the selectors have done a good job to pick the young players who have been on the horizon," Nielsen said.
He also said that it was not the case that after Ashes defeat Australia were thrown out of contention and that the top-team tag is well within its reach.
"We were never that far away. We got beaten by a England who were an excellent cricket side last year. It didn`t mean we are crap. Australia could be the No.1 Test side in 12 months," Nielsen were quoted as saying by `Daily Telegraph`.
"We knock over West Indies, then South Africa and have every reason to go to the Ashes as contenders to the throne,`` he said," he added.
Nielsen noticed big positive changes pace duo of Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus.
"The biggest improvement has come from Siddle and Hilfy who have had the courage and willingness to pitch the ball up," noted Nielsen.
Nielsen had a very successful stint as Australia coach as he presided over nine Test series wins in 15 and 19 triumphs out of 25 one-day series after replacing John Buchanan in 2007 before being forced to resign.
Nielsen also advised Australia top not take the foot of the pedal and go all out against India in the Adelaide Test.
"I hope they continue their momentum and win inside three days in Adelaide. There is definitely potential for a 4-0 sweep. Australia has got them under real mental pressure and a game hold over them.”
"You give up a little bit and all of a sudden they can come back. I expect the India players need to make some decisions how hard they are willing to fight in Adelaide," he said.