Australia news September 22, 2011

Clarke wants input on new coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia's captain, Michael Clarke, hopes he will have some input into who replaces Tim Nielsen as the team's coach. Clarke arrived back home in Sydney on Wednesday night after leading Australia to a 1-0 Test series victory in Sri Lanka, where Nielsen finished the tour by announcing his decision to step down from the coaching role.

That means Australia will have an interim coach for next month's tour of South Africa - probably one of the assistants, Steve Rixon or Justin Langer - while the search goes on for a full-time replacement. Clarke is believed to have a very high regard for his former New South Wales coach, Rixon, and while he did not name any preferred names, he said he hoped his opinions would be considered as Cricket Australia looked for their new man.

"I hope I will [have some input]," Clarke said. "I have a really good relationship with James Sutherland, the CEO, and I'm pretty sure it is important the captain and coach have a strong bond. I would imagine I would have some sort of impact and I'll be communicating with James over however long, to try and work out who they think the best person for the role is.

"There's a lot of successful coaches around the world, and I think the priority, as the review has made very clear, is they are going to try and get the best person for the job. I think Tim Nielsen has done an amazing job for Australia. He's been fantastic for me, not only as a captain, but as a player and he's certainly going to be missed."

Leading candidates to replace Nielsen will include Rixon, who has a successful track record having coached New Zealand as well as New South Wales, and Mickey Arthur, the former South Africa mentor. Arthur is preparing for his second season as coach of Western Australia.

Nielsen's resignation came after the release of the Argus review, which recommended a more wide-ranging brief for the head coach. Whoever gets the new job will not only guide the national team, he will also direct the coaching style that will filter down to state and academy level, and with Clarke will be one of Australia's five-man selection panel.

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  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    Can't be sure but i really think the team needs a pretty hard faced coach right now. Someone who is going to drill the basics into them with complete discipline and let the players know about it in a pretty up front manner when they are playing loose shots etc. Worked for Bob Simpson and i'm sure Geoff Marsh worked well in the same way. I think it went somewhere else under Buchanan and then with the dissappearance of so much experience and further inadequate coaching we've got a mess in front of us............ Bring on Rixon, i say!

  • Randolph on September 24, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    @Meety - disagree, Hughes took ak if the pressure, otherwise Clarke would've got out for his stock standard mid 50 the ball before Lunch! @Trickstar - top call, he will be shown up in SA and get sacked hopefully!

  • Andrew on September 22, 2011, 23:29 GMT

    @RandyOZ - Pups 100 was immense pressure, he came in when Oz were effectively 3/30. Also, the pitch WAS turning, the ball that nailed Punter was a ripper. Pup weighed up the needto bat overs, AND to score runs, I know he has to continue scoring 100s, but I won't be bagging that one. It was pressure, read the commentry, it was a game changing innings, (Hughes did help). @tdobbo - hmmm get rid of a last start centurian, that's genius!!!!

  • paul on September 22, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    Things like input into coaches and being a selector, should be put well out of the reach of Clarke or any Captain for that matter.His job is to Captain not all this other stuff, especially when he's been in the job 5 minutes, good on him for beating SL but come on they were pathetic and have some serious issues to address themselves and it's not as if they royally smashed them. The knives will certainly be out for him if SA smash them in a few weeks, that will surely test Clarke's Captaincy and metal in general. As for his Captaincy, why on the last day of the last test did he bat all day when there was a chance to send SL in for a few hours, 250 ahead with 35 overs to bat or whatever it was, it must have been worth it considering what happened to SL in England a few months earlier. I just get the impression with Clarke that he thinks good Captaincy is setting quirky fields and he has a habit of following the ball around when in the field. Time will tell.

  • david on September 22, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    if find it hard to understand why Australia never seem to choose an ex ausssie big named player as coach. thinking back would bobby simpson be the last. and if so who before him. i would think of all their great players from the past you would think there would have been. most of the other test playing nations either have had an ex big named player of their own or a of another from another country. that's strange.and the reasons hard to fathom. i understand of all the boards, australias been a mostly a closed shop and a bit straight laced through the decades for what it considered out of place.

  • Randolph on September 22, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    How bout pup concentrate on his own batting rather than coach. An un-pressured (thanks to hughes) hundred on a road will not escape you from scrutiny.

  • Anthony on September 22, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    I agree 100% with you Sargsi. Big problem in Australian cricket in the clique that exists in the team, someone needs to make a few hard decisions - get rid of the deadwood such as Timid Mitch, Haddin, Hughes, Ponting, etc.

  • Ajay on September 22, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    No,No,No,No This is too much for clarke, He is too immature as cricketer to choose. I think Wasim Akram can do wonders for Them.

  • sandeep on September 22, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    bevan or micky arthur should appoint as the head coach of aus team as both are brilliant coach...bevan is ver good player who know nature of aus cricket and domestic players as well.......

  • Andrew on September 22, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    A newspaper up this way reckons Pup is pushing for Rixon. == == == @Sargsi - mate Clarke is one of the most popular cricketers behind Lee in the country, that's because he is insanely popular with kids under 18. @straight_drive4 - agreed! @Aidan FX Herman - agreed, my only gripe currently with Pup is that uses the word "special" too much! LOL! Honestly though - to be the Test captain, you have to be 99% politician when dealing with the public, otherwise you just get crucified if you say one ambiguous! (Case in point @landl47's comments)!!!! @Ben1989 - well said! Almost everybody has been impressed with his captaincy, all he needs to do is get back some consistancy of good scores (100s) & he'll be worshipped.

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