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Cooley named Australia's interim coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 27, 2011

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Troy Cooley looks on during an Australian warm-up session, Hove, June 25, 2009
Troy Cooley will be back in the Australian setup for the next two months © Getty Images
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Troy Cooley will be Australia's interim head coach for next month's tour of South Africa, but he has confirmed he will not apply for the full-time job as Tim Nielsen's replacement. Cooley is the head coach at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, having spent five years as the bowling coach and Nielsen's assistant with the national team.

The current assistant coach, Justin Langer, and the fielding mentor Steve Rixon had been the two favourites for the interim position after Nielsen stood down at the end of the recent tour of Sri Lanka. However, Cricket Australia's general manager of cricket, Michael Brown, said Cooley was a good fit for the stand-in role, which covers the two Twenty20s, three ODIs and two Tests in South Africa.

"Troy has filled this role successfully in the past, and has worked extensively with all players within the Australian set-up and with our younger squad members at CA's Centre of Excellence," Brown said. "Troy has advised that he will not be an applicant for the head coach role, given his significant and important duties at the Centre of Excellence. This appointment will therefore allow the Australian squad continuity as they attempt to cement their No.1 ODI ranking and attempt to climb the ICC Test rankings."

Rixon is expected to be a strong contender for the full-time position as head coach, while Langer could also feature in Cricket Australia's considerations. Cooley, who was in charge of Australia A's tour of Zimbabwe earlier this year, said he was looking forward to taking on the interim role.

"I feel excited and comfortable coming into this caretaker's role knowing that Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Tim Nielsen have been planning this South African campaign for a while now," Cooley said. "My immediate task will be to come up to speed with their plans and work with the players and support team to ensure the preparation is spot on for a successful tour.

"My working knowledge of the Australian team and our opposition will no doubt be an asset in the short term as we look to build on the successful tour of Sri Lanka. My role is to ensure all players have what they need to prepare for the tour and to oversee the support staff to ensure the best possible results."

As the acting coach, Cooley will be part of the selection panel and will have a say in the ODI and T20 squads for the South African series, which will be announced later this week.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (September 28, 2011, 1:09 GMT)

Better Cooley than Nielsen. Good stand in to set the bar high for a full time coach.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (September 27, 2011, 23:56 GMT)

@LesGrossman, I tend to agree with Ian Chappell's view that when players reach the highest level they shouldn't need coaches as such, that good coaches should be employed at the lower levels of cricket to equip players with the skills they need by the time they play for the national team. I can understand certain players having a mentor to help them out every now and then (e.g Johnson prob needs someone to work with him) but having a head coach, a batting coach, bowling coach and fielding coach seems a bit much to me. At the very least the head coach ought to be able to cover fielding. The captain should be in confident enough to do all the on field stuff and perhaps just have someone on to assist manage off field stuff for the team.

Posted by Winsome on (September 27, 2011, 13:26 GMT)

Troy Cooley can't turn Johnson into a consistent bowler, lord knows he's tried often enough. I just want the Aussies to be competitive in this series v SA, no throwing wickets away stupidly and bowling like men without a brain.

Posted by ajayrcs on (September 27, 2011, 13:11 GMT)

whoever be the coach, his main aim should be to improve bowling of australia specially in swing and spin department.

Posted by popcorn on (September 27, 2011, 11:19 GMT)

What happens to Craig McDermott then? Troy Cooley will definitely help our bowling attack to improve (along with Craig McDermott??) while Justin Langer - batting, and Steve Rixon - fielding. Australia have ALWAYS beaten South Africa IN South Africa, so this will be a repeat performance.

Posted by tdobbo on (September 27, 2011, 11:10 GMT)

Timid Mitch up and firing?

Posted by katandthat3 on (September 27, 2011, 9:25 GMT)

Cooley has been involved with the Aussie set up for a while now and I can't really say many of the bowlers have improved and we've had some significant injuries to our young bowlers. Not that this is his fault entirely but he was part of the set up and the bowlers were more his domain. I think Australia were just happy to win the series in SL but I think they realise the enormity of the challenge the SA tour brings. Whatever happens it'll set us up for the home series. Australia have to go out and play positive cricket. Realistically there is a big gap between 2nd and 3rd in the Test rankings and the Aussies have only just reached 4th. Obviously there is a lot of interest in the SA tour squad so we'll see what happens. Things are coming along but will feel better once we get settled on a head coach (Rixon or Arthur??) and head selector (hopefully Rod Marsh).

Posted by LesGrossman on (September 27, 2011, 8:06 GMT)

@ RightArmEverything, no Clarke needs to focus on his batting, not 'running the show' as you put it. One century in 20 odd innings does not speak of a player in control of his game. Let Cooley take the burden of organising, while Clarke does serious time in the nets on his game. England is number one in the world and they have a lot of 'chiefs' in the backroom. The difference is they are quailty and proven coaches appointed by quality administrators.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (September 27, 2011, 7:42 GMT)

I think they ought to just let Clarke run the show for this tour (for the test and one-day teams, not T20 obviously). I'm sure he's capable until the Head Coach is appointed. Too many chiefs in the Australian cricket team I think.

Posted by LesGrossman on (September 27, 2011, 7:36 GMT)

@Ben1989 and RightArmEverything... both rixon and langer want the job so if either were to take the reins of interim coach it would be a clear conflict of interest to the process of the appointment. @hyclass of course times are lean, how long has it been since australia have beaten anybody above themselves on the rankings? as for the backslapping, that will be replaces by finger pointing as aust get bowled out for under 200 in every test innings in SA. but we do get a failed bowling coach to take over from a failed head coach, way to go sutherland and brown! Australian cricket will be no better as all the failed coaches get jobs within the state or CA system, they are now just failing our future players. you see the argus review says what is wrong, but nothing on how to fix the problems.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (September 27, 2011, 7:30 GMT)

My guess is that it was thought that promoting Rixon from 'fielding coach' and bringing in someone for that role may have made it difficult when Mickey Arthur is appointed and everyone changes again. Hopefully Rixon will stay in his role and add experience to the overall team under Arthur.

Posted by   on (September 27, 2011, 7:27 GMT)

terrible move. he was only good with the english because he gave the mint lollies. he has been useless since. australia can knock south africa off at home. they haven't lost a series over since they were reinstated

Posted by s.sreekant on (September 27, 2011, 6:45 GMT)

one more thing is that cooley's presence and that of mcdermort would create a bit of confusion is not bcz cooley said he will work with mitch, if so to whom il mitch will listen or other bolwers would bcz mcdermot would hav had some plans for the bowlers and if cooley comes n say something new this would lead to confusion moreover cooley wont be staying long, so he should not interfere much into bowling things

Posted by s.sreekant on (September 27, 2011, 6:37 GMT)

dont think this is a smart move, why is that this guy get always the nod for d top position is aus cricket. he was not that a good bowling coach.

Posted by hyclass on (September 27, 2011, 6:19 GMT)

Until senior appointments are made,Australia will have to live with an,'Anyone but Nielsen,Chappell and Hilditch'approach.It means having to use people who have been involved in the previous arrangements and who still speak,'CA self promotion speak'.Its comforting to know that Cooley will be a temporary appointment.None of the would be applicants could have been impartially appointed,temporarily.Times sure are lean,when a 6 week,4 international matches all,tour of a very weak SL on flat pitches,is considered a back slapping,success story.Thank goodness for the 1st Test pitch.Cooley opened the promotion for CA,by mentioning Nielsen in the planning of the SA tour.Did anyone notice Micheal Brown slipping in tidbits like CAs,failed,'mantra of continuity'.Cooley is his former appointment and hes subtley slipped in the,'Cement our ODI no.1 ranking,alongside the climbing the ICC Test rankings'.The reason for Cooleys temp only appointment,could be to do with CA fullfilling Argus mandates.

Posted by HatsforBats on (September 27, 2011, 6:11 GMT)

@land47: do you mean, "it'll be a suprise if Australia beats SA in their own backyard, AGAIN"? I agree, I imagine that SA will be pretty fired up to make amends for the last tour. There was excellent cricket played by both sides last time, so hopefully we get the same again, unfortunately this is only a 2 test tour

Posted by Ben1989 on (September 27, 2011, 5:42 GMT)

I think ok decision but doesn't this scream out that rixon isn't a contender? If he really was then why wouldn't they trial him in this series, makes no sense to me!!

Posted by landl47 on (September 27, 2011, 5:35 GMT)

@Chris Sun: Cooley spent 5 years working with Johnson and the result is what you see now- a bowler who's getting worse all the time. Cooley's a decent bowling coach, which goes to show how little he has had to work with. We'll see if he's a good manager, but it'll be a surprise if Australia beats SA in their own backyard. If they're competitive it will have been a successful tour.

Posted by Nightwing32 on (September 27, 2011, 5:22 GMT)

Smart move. May be permanent.

Posted by straight_drive4 on (September 27, 2011, 4:50 GMT)

@ Shrii - i think you missed the "nt" in your comment. "it'll be a downfall is rixon ISNT appointed as a full time coach......."

Posted by Rickaby on (September 27, 2011, 4:42 GMT)

@ Chris Sun - I think you'll find Cooley has already had ample opportunity to positively influence Mitch; to no avail. It was hoped that Cooley was a fast-bowler-whisperer with magical powers to transform pedestrian trundlers into world-beating swing technicians. However, the results suggest that there was much more to England's transformation than Cooley's coaching tid-bits. I wouldn't hold your breath for a Mitch-turnaround. I'm sure he's had umpteen coaches in his ear, trying to iron out his miriad of imperfections - even some suggesting he just go out there and bowl fast. His confidence must be way down and plummetting exponentially (even his batting is suffering). He needs to freshen up and inject some fun back into his cricket - a prescription unlikely to be filled any time soon.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (September 27, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

Why do you say that, Shrii Ram?

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (September 27, 2011, 4:25 GMT)

Cooley was the Australian bowling coach for much of Mitch's career. If he could get Mitch to swing the ball consistently we should have seen it happening by now.

Posted by tdobbo on (September 27, 2011, 3:58 GMT)

@Chris Sun, Cooley has been bowling coach for the rabbles for 5 years already. Timid Mitch just isn't up to it, how many chances does this guy get?

Posted by RightArmEverything on (September 27, 2011, 3:42 GMT)

Seems like it would have made sense for Rixon to be interim coach seeing as he's a contender for the head coaching job. Would give an early indication of how he and Clarke work together and the rest of the team.

Posted by   on (September 27, 2011, 3:15 GMT)

Cooley played a part in England winning the ashes in 2005 and helping their bowlers get reverse swing. He could work with Mitchel Johnson to get his swing back. At the moment, he is off colour. Watch out Graeme Smith, you could get another broken hand.

Posted by   on (September 27, 2011, 3:03 GMT)

It'll be a downfall if rixon is appointed as a full time coach........

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