Australia in India, 2007-08 September 25, 2007

Nielsen expects greater focus

Cricinfo staff

Tim Nielsen: Australia expect greater things © Getty Images
Australia's coach, Tim Nielsen, believes his players need to buck up their ideas and refocus after a lengthy winter break. The side has now headed to India for a series of seven ODIs, followed by a one-off Twenty20 match at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai that has suddenly taken on added importance following India's triumph in Johannesburg on Monday.

Nielsen, who took over from John Buchanan at the end of Australia's victorious World Cup campaign in the Caribbean, conceded that his side had not treated the Twenty20 tournament with enough respect. Following a humiliating loss to Zimbabwe in the opening game, Australia eventually succumbed to India in the semi-finals.

"Twenty20 is a showpiece event now," Nielsen told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Before, there wasn't really much consequence to losing a one-off Twenty20 game as there was compared to a Test or one-day series. But that all changes when there is a tournament structure in place.

"[Complacency] may have been a factor until we got beaten by Zimbabwe, and that straightened us up real quick. We had a bit of bad luck. We were coming off a break, and it would have been better if we had been a little more cricket-fit. We're more aware of that now, and we'll be better prepared next time."

The teams reconvene in Australia over Christmas and the New Year for four Tests followed by the Commonwealth Bank Series, which also features Sri Lanka, and Nielsen believes that the forthcoming tour is the perfect opportunity to put one over the Indians before their visit.

"This is a great chance for us to get the wood on them a bit," Nielsen said. "It's important that we make an impact here. We've been pretty disjointed up to now, with our preparation and some injuries, so the challenge is there for us. When we get out there for a one-dayer and are facing three-and-a-half hours in the field, it's going to feel like a Test match. Everyone will have to adjust their thinking."