Nielsen says Australians are T20 title contenders

Updated: May 05, 2010, 14:40 PM IST

Melbourne: Lashing out at critics who consider Australia`s performance in Twenty20 to be dismal, coach Tim Nielsen has said that his team has performed well so far and are in the contention for the title.

"I get my neck out of joint a bit when people say Australia hasn`t done well in Twenty20 cricket. We haven`t won one of these tournaments, I agree," Nielsen said.

"But there have only been two of them, we made the semi-finals of the first one and got knocked out poorly in England, but we`ve won our fair share in that amount of time," he was quoted as saying.

"We just haven`t had the high-level of success that we`ve had in other forms of the game. But we`re learning, we`re getting better," he said.

He said Australia demonstrated that in emphatic style with their 34-run victory against world champions Pakistan in their opening match of the tournament in St Lucia.

"I think it`s an experience thing. When we first started playing Twenty20 cricket we had them crammed at the end of a Test series or in between 10 one-dayers," Nielsen said of Australia`s attitude towards Twenty20 cricket.

"I just think the fact we`ve been able to get the group together for a while, we`ve experienced IPL, we`ve had a couple of goes at this tournament now, I think we`re getting closer and getting better at it," he added.