Sutherland backs Nielsen to continue as Oz coach

Melbourne: Tim Nielsen on Saturday must have heaved a sigh of relief after James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia (CA), assured that his future as the Aussie coach is safe but insisted that he needs to change his ways in order turn the fortunes of a depleted unit.

Sutherland said that the coach will not be axed in the aftermath of humiliating 3-1 Ashes loss and will remain at the helm until his contract is over.

“He’s doing a good job, there were very good reasons for him to be renewed in that role,” Sutherland told reporters.

“He’s doing a great job with the development of players and at the same time we have some significant changes in the personnel within the Australian team and team management. The decision that was made, the board’s very comfortable with that Tim’s contract should be renewed through that period, Tim’s fine,” Sutherland added.

Nielsen had signed a contract extension before the summer to shoulder the coaching responsibilities until after the 2013 Ashes series.

The assurance from CA comes as huge relief for Nielsen who has been bashed by the media, particularly keeping in view the fine job that has been carried out by his English counterpart, Andy Flower.

The coach emphasised the need to improve the training habits and lamented the fact that players did not pay proper attention to the details.

“There are little things we need to improve, it’s not about saying you can’t play a cover drive or a cut shot or can’t catch the ball,” he said.

“Players don’t get to this level without being able to do that, but it’s us improving as a group to identify those times and realising that sometimes you need to put your own game on the back burner,” Nielsen added.
“Sometimes you need to adjust how you normally play to do everything you can to get through to the next little period where you can have a rest and reset and start again,” the coach expressed while emphasising that batsmen lacked application and got out at crucial stages of the game.

However, Nielsen’s views are contradictory to that of the stand-in captain Michael Clarke who had earlier told his batsmen to play their natural game in order to survive.

“For me, if I try to occupy the crease and block, I know I’m going to have no chance for success. Every individual is different, but you have to stick to your game plan. You have to play your way. We didn’t bat as well as we needed to once again,” Clarke had told his teammates during the fifth and final Ashes Test at Sidney Cricket Ground.

Nielsen insisted that his team needs to learn from the the example set by the English side.

“We need to make sure if we get to 20 or 30 as a batting group we go in and make 170 like the England players did,” he said.

“If we take a wicket or bowl a maiden over we bowl the first four or five balls of an over and create some pressure, we don’t bowl the balls onto their pads or bowl a cut shot. We need to improve,” the coach insisted.

The coach accepted that the result truly reflected the difference between the two sides but said it was not the true picture of the talent present in the two units.

“There’s not a lot of difference, I believe, in the natural skill level or talent level of any Test players around the world,” he said.

“They’re all supremely talented and great cricketers. The guys who can be strong enough mentally and physically to do it for a long period of time have the greatest success, and they outlasted us through this series with their skills, and full credit to them,” he added.


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