The Ashes 2010-11 January 8, 2011

Clarke and Nielsen differ on batting approach

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Michael Clarke, the stand-in captain, and the coach Tim Nielsen have disagreed over Australia's Test batting tactics in the aftermath of the side's horrible Ashes loss. The lack of runs was a key problem for the hosts throughout the 3-1 series defeat and it has become clear that there was a clash over the best method of survival.

Nielsen, who has been in charge since 2007, said the batsmen had to learn how to adjust their mind-sets to avoid losing wickets at crucial times, which was a feature of the campaign. However, Clarke, who replaced the injured Ricky Ponting in Sydney, said he told his men not to alter their attitude in the second innings, when they were attempting to hold off the rampaging tourists.

"[It was] 100% to play their natural game," Clarke said of his instructions. "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."

Nielsen disagreed after watching his batsmen fall around breaks in play at vital stages of the past five Tests. "They 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."

It is not unusual for a coach and captain to have different views. Nielsen was angry this week with Stuart Clark, the former Test bowler, for suggesting Nielsen and Clarke had problems in the West Indies during the World Twenty20. Clark had written about the pair's relationship for the Sydney Morning Herald at the start of the final Test.

"It is my belief Clarke will want full control, and this might mean Nielsen has to take a back seat on several fronts," Clark wrote. "It might be better if he provides support and guidance to Clarke rather than a dominant hand.

"He should then ensure the rest of the side are having their requirements met - be they extra netting time, throwdowns, catching, fielding work, bowling work or just sitting down and talking to players about their fears and concerns. This might take away from the more glamorous work of deciding when to declare or who should be 12th man, but it's still a very important part of building a successful team."

Nielsen insisted he did his best during the Ashes but could only point to three players - Michael Hussey, Shane Watson and Peter Siddle - who had improved over the past six months. Before the season he signed a contract to the end of the 2013 Ashes and James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, delivered a surprising vote of confidence.

"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," Sutherland said. "The decision that was made, the board's very comfortable that Tim's contract should be renewed through that period. Tim's fine."

Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said after the match that his panel had done "a very good job" during the series. When Nielsen was asked if he rated his own performance the same way he said: "We've done our very best, no doubt about that. We did everything we thought we could do and we tried everything we could have."

While Nielsen ran out of answers for his team, his support staff also struggled to lift the players. Every time Australia bowled the wicket looked flatter and slower, with Troy Cooley suffering badly in comparison with David Saker, England's Australian bowling coach. Justin Langer's batting advice was either ignored or not useful, and the fielding was also disappointing.

"The planning was there, it was just our inability as a group to do what we wanted to do with bat and ball," Nielsen said. The players have been the only ones to accept blame for the side's worst series of results in history.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | January 9, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    @popcorn; Buchanan presided over some of the greatest cricket players who ever walked the planet - it would have been shocking if those players had not put together a record like the one they did. Buchanan had very little to do with that teams sucess and Neilsen even less. Now how about you reply? You are good at contributing - now stand up and justify what you say when challlenged.

  • POSTED BY on | January 9, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    I think Nielsen is a little bit of a problem. Australia should be looking for a new coach. Since he came in, I can't think of one thing Australia have done well.

  • POSTED BY on | January 9, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    From where I look, Australia should not be surprised at the drubbing. In fact they should & would have known that this was going to be a tough series to save even before it began. They stayed in denial & borrowed confidence. Having known this, the plan should have been to make it hard & tough for england to be on top (I understand Aussies always play only to win, but these were not the usual circumstances & an underdogs approach from the start was the demand of the situation) .. & we all know england can't fight it out for long when confronted with sustained pressure. Clarke's explanation was laughable & like a King gone broke, but a King nevertheless. U play your natuaral game when you have the tools to back it up, else it all goes up-side-down. The real ingredient missing from the Aussies, discounting for the lack of skills, was the famed Aussie grit. But then you cant expect that from players who arnt sure of their places for even the next test. Selectors to blame all the way.

  • POSTED BY LALITHKURUWITA on | January 9, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    Cracks are everywhere. As I said before, if CA needs to improve, they need to remove the selection pannel, coaching staff and both captains. With the current bunch Aussie cricket will fall further. @AndrewFromOz I do agree with you.

  • POSTED BY Poonting on | January 9, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    D) To be continued.

    I am too mad to keep writing about these twits, for further details of my rant, bookmark this page. Googlie.com.au

    Coming soon.

    I am going to rip this team apart.

    Death to Australian cricket. The resurrection begins tomorrow.

    Every journey begins with a step.

    Heads must roll.

    Fingers bleeding.

  • POSTED BY Poonting on | January 9, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    B) Arrogance, for whatever reasons.

    This starts at the top. Yes, I am talking about the Punter Ponting. One of the most arrogant individuals on earth. This has now filtered down through the whole team, arrogance is one sure way to lose a test match. Test cricket is a game of patience, there is no room for arrogance in test cricket. It is a game of humility, one where we must respect the opposition and judge every ball on its merit. The Aussies went into this Test series with an ayre of invincibility, this is a sure way to defeat. One cannot sustain such arrogance for 5 days, one is surely to be undone with this mindset, save arrogance for T20 where muscles mean something, Test cricket is a game for the mind.

    C) Crazy selection, what the? Really?! What the!?!?!

    Lets begin with Nathan Hauritz. An Ashes series is no forum to blood new spin bowlers. Why not go with a tried and true formula, sure maybe he wont break through a batting line up, but 'The Kid' can hold up an end. To be cont.

  • POSTED BY Clyde on | January 9, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    I doubt if any Australian would want to play in or watch a game of cricket orchestrated by coaches. I want to be able to see the people deciding the moves. Even in soccer the coaches are on the sideline. The function of a coach in cricket is invisible and hence not credible. I am sure Mr Nielson is a very nice man and so on and so forth, but he has nothing to do with whether a player or team is going to do well. For Australia to come back it is going to take talent that has never been seen before, by anyone, let alone just Mr Nielson. All this mentioning of coaches for this, that and the other thing is discussion of a group whose names generally don't ring a bell. Flower is a pleasant exception under the heading 'coach'. I am sure England's players aimed for some of his qualities, which unmemorable coaches don't have. It seems to me Australia has players who can't bowl at the wicket, keep their bats in front of the wicket or throw the ball in its direction.

  • POSTED BY Poonting on | January 9, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    I am angry, bloodlust overwhelms me. As a lurker of CricInfo for the past 3 years I have thoroughly enjoyed reading comments and insights into this beautiful game, but today I have taken a stand a decided to provide insight.

    Australian cricket has been in decline for some time. Myself, like others, have despised the direction of Australian cricket for at least the last 5 years. It has become nothing more than a commercial vehicle, another pop culture trend, something where style means more than substance. Lets break this down...

    The Australian Cricket nightmare, how it happened.

    A) Style over substance: Players are being chosen in the same way that models are chosen, how they look and how marketable they are to whatever sector of the public the Australian tards at CA want to attract to the game. Michael Clarke is the pretty boy, Steven Smith is the 'young gun', Mitchell Beer is chosen because a beer company is the major sponsor of the team and thought this was some marketing genius.

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | January 9, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    I was impressed with Clarke as captain. Given the poisoned chalice for the last Test when England were in front, I thought he kept his head. He might turn into a Strauss like captain if he is given the chance. By that I mean thoughtful, considerate to his players and a gentleman on the field. Despite what Aussies think, this can have a galvanising effect on players. Ponting lost it at Melbourne and his team suffered for it. Clarke was quick to support and defend Hughes against allegations of cheating and he refused to make a controversy over Bell saying that he believed he didn't feel anything on the bat. Such captains are always an asset because they end up being really respected.

  • POSTED BY AndrewFromOz on | January 9, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    Nielson, Hilditch, Ponting et al will try to hold on to their high-paying gigs to the detriment of Australian cricket. CA will have to work hard to prise their greedy fingers off the steering wheel...

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | January 9, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    @popcorn; Buchanan presided over some of the greatest cricket players who ever walked the planet - it would have been shocking if those players had not put together a record like the one they did. Buchanan had very little to do with that teams sucess and Neilsen even less. Now how about you reply? You are good at contributing - now stand up and justify what you say when challlenged.

  • POSTED BY on | January 9, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    I think Nielsen is a little bit of a problem. Australia should be looking for a new coach. Since he came in, I can't think of one thing Australia have done well.

  • POSTED BY on | January 9, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    From where I look, Australia should not be surprised at the drubbing. In fact they should & would have known that this was going to be a tough series to save even before it began. They stayed in denial & borrowed confidence. Having known this, the plan should have been to make it hard & tough for england to be on top (I understand Aussies always play only to win, but these were not the usual circumstances & an underdogs approach from the start was the demand of the situation) .. & we all know england can't fight it out for long when confronted with sustained pressure. Clarke's explanation was laughable & like a King gone broke, but a King nevertheless. U play your natuaral game when you have the tools to back it up, else it all goes up-side-down. The real ingredient missing from the Aussies, discounting for the lack of skills, was the famed Aussie grit. But then you cant expect that from players who arnt sure of their places for even the next test. Selectors to blame all the way.

  • POSTED BY LALITHKURUWITA on | January 9, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    Cracks are everywhere. As I said before, if CA needs to improve, they need to remove the selection pannel, coaching staff and both captains. With the current bunch Aussie cricket will fall further. @AndrewFromOz I do agree with you.

  • POSTED BY Poonting on | January 9, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    D) To be continued.

    I am too mad to keep writing about these twits, for further details of my rant, bookmark this page. Googlie.com.au

    Coming soon.

    I am going to rip this team apart.

    Death to Australian cricket. The resurrection begins tomorrow.

    Every journey begins with a step.

    Heads must roll.

    Fingers bleeding.

  • POSTED BY Poonting on | January 9, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    B) Arrogance, for whatever reasons.

    This starts at the top. Yes, I am talking about the Punter Ponting. One of the most arrogant individuals on earth. This has now filtered down through the whole team, arrogance is one sure way to lose a test match. Test cricket is a game of patience, there is no room for arrogance in test cricket. It is a game of humility, one where we must respect the opposition and judge every ball on its merit. The Aussies went into this Test series with an ayre of invincibility, this is a sure way to defeat. One cannot sustain such arrogance for 5 days, one is surely to be undone with this mindset, save arrogance for T20 where muscles mean something, Test cricket is a game for the mind.

    C) Crazy selection, what the? Really?! What the!?!?!

    Lets begin with Nathan Hauritz. An Ashes series is no forum to blood new spin bowlers. Why not go with a tried and true formula, sure maybe he wont break through a batting line up, but 'The Kid' can hold up an end. To be cont.

  • POSTED BY Clyde on | January 9, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    I doubt if any Australian would want to play in or watch a game of cricket orchestrated by coaches. I want to be able to see the people deciding the moves. Even in soccer the coaches are on the sideline. The function of a coach in cricket is invisible and hence not credible. I am sure Mr Nielson is a very nice man and so on and so forth, but he has nothing to do with whether a player or team is going to do well. For Australia to come back it is going to take talent that has never been seen before, by anyone, let alone just Mr Nielson. All this mentioning of coaches for this, that and the other thing is discussion of a group whose names generally don't ring a bell. Flower is a pleasant exception under the heading 'coach'. I am sure England's players aimed for some of his qualities, which unmemorable coaches don't have. It seems to me Australia has players who can't bowl at the wicket, keep their bats in front of the wicket or throw the ball in its direction.

  • POSTED BY Poonting on | January 9, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    I am angry, bloodlust overwhelms me. As a lurker of CricInfo for the past 3 years I have thoroughly enjoyed reading comments and insights into this beautiful game, but today I have taken a stand a decided to provide insight.

    Australian cricket has been in decline for some time. Myself, like others, have despised the direction of Australian cricket for at least the last 5 years. It has become nothing more than a commercial vehicle, another pop culture trend, something where style means more than substance. Lets break this down...

    The Australian Cricket nightmare, how it happened.

    A) Style over substance: Players are being chosen in the same way that models are chosen, how they look and how marketable they are to whatever sector of the public the Australian tards at CA want to attract to the game. Michael Clarke is the pretty boy, Steven Smith is the 'young gun', Mitchell Beer is chosen because a beer company is the major sponsor of the team and thought this was some marketing genius.

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | January 9, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    I was impressed with Clarke as captain. Given the poisoned chalice for the last Test when England were in front, I thought he kept his head. He might turn into a Strauss like captain if he is given the chance. By that I mean thoughtful, considerate to his players and a gentleman on the field. Despite what Aussies think, this can have a galvanising effect on players. Ponting lost it at Melbourne and his team suffered for it. Clarke was quick to support and defend Hughes against allegations of cheating and he refused to make a controversy over Bell saying that he believed he didn't feel anything on the bat. Such captains are always an asset because they end up being really respected.

  • POSTED BY AndrewFromOz on | January 9, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    Nielson, Hilditch, Ponting et al will try to hold on to their high-paying gigs to the detriment of Australian cricket. CA will have to work hard to prise their greedy fingers off the steering wheel...

  • POSTED BY rohanbala on | January 9, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    The first cracks in the relationship between the stand in captain and the coach now appear. From what is indicated in the above article by Mr Peter English, the Coach seems to be right in pointing out about the untimely dismissal of the batsmen in all the 5 tests at crucial stages when big partnerships were needed. Michael Clarke's strategy of allowing the batsmen to play their natural game is totally out of place. What the australian batsmen lacked was patience and shot selection which was well demonstrated by the Englishmen.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | January 9, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    Nielsen sounds like he is not only not prepared to take any responsibility for the Ashes result but is covering his butt by blaming the players. "[It was] 100% to play their natural game," - was great idea by Clarke - it is what should of happenned from Day 1 at the GABBA. Nielsen never made it as an International cricketer & is clearly out of his depth. Even though Oz didn't do much better in the 2nd innings then the 1st - it may of been a lot better if Watto didn't have a Brain Fade. The Poms were not looking too could when Watto was whacking them thru the onside. The style of innings Watto & Pup played is the way they should of played all series. Dunno about Cooley - but the comments about "Every time Australia bowled the wicket looked flatter and slower" was right, I would say that the sun did come out more often when Oz were bowling - @ the MCG that was very stark. Hilditch is also a "it wasn't me, not my fault" joke.

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2011, 23:13 GMT

    I'm not sure the Australian management is accepting nearly enough blame as I think they should.

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | January 8, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    I think Clarke was right about the batting, if only for the simple reason that he didn't have the players to do what Nielsen wanted. Take Kwajaha for instance. He's good - should be an opener, but in his first Test it's unlikely to come off. Smith, Haddin and even Hughes are not batten-down-the-hatches players. Now, that should have been patently obvious from the start. So why didn't the planning take that into account?

  • POSTED BY Sweno on | January 8, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    I think Australia needs a head coach that can help them with their mindset! They have "skills" coaches in Cooley & Langer but I think someone like St George Rugby League Coach - Wayne Bennett - should come in and take over. He would give them a winning mental approach & get the team playing as a team. I'd also move Greg Chappell to a "skills" coaching area and change the selectors to : John Howard (Chairman), Steve Waugh, Matt Hayden & Shane Warne. The captain and vice captain should be there in all 3 forms of the game. Cameron White is a standout leader and Tim Paine should be his deputy.

  • POSTED BY aristotle.net on | January 8, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    I think it is time Tim Nielsen is let go off. I don't understand what is Australia's fascination with Coaches that haven't done much in their own cricketing careers. It would be best if Clarke was given a chance to groom a new partnership with a coach who knows his stuff but likes to stay in the background. It is time Tom Moody is given a crack as the coach of the national team. Some changes in the selection panel wouldn't hurt either.

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    sack neilsen and get john wright....pay him double than what the kiwis pay him...

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    disagree with what clarke is saying just look at gambhir in the second innings v sa 3rd test and in new zealand last year. the teams needs are most important. why do you think pietersen drives us english mad!

  • POSTED BY RJHB on | January 8, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    Yep, now is the time for the top brass to cover their own asses and say they did the best job possible, inferring that the blame is all with someone else along the way, and belittle or dismiss anything negative said by anyone, especially past players who should know better than everybody else. Weakness at the top must be addressed just as surely as playing personnel.

  • POSTED BY kris_mg on | January 8, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    Wow... this is really unacceptable.. The Australian had a bad time yes.. buts its not that they didn't have the talent to match.. Yup the English were better prepared and ruthless when they were required to also ready to grind down the opposition when it was required.. Its really sad to know that Clarke would rather go down paying "his game" rather than opting for a hard grind, putting value to their wickets when the match required so.. They could really learn a lesson or two from Langer itself for god sake or look around, there was Kallis, Sachin and Laxman giving a class last week around in South Africa.. Also its time CA took some responsibility and some heads roll.. And what in the name was the selectors so proud of after leaving their best spinner, Hauritz (in case they forgot his name) high and dry and would rather throw Beer and Doherty into the fire.. Its time someone called their bluff.. CA is not going to do it, i hope someone does for real Cricket Australia..

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | January 8, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    The Value of John Buchanan's approach to mental toughness, raising the bar, fearlessness, the Art of War, is what made Australia the Number One Test and ODI Nation in the world,. Tim Nielsen was his assistant, but his approach has to do more with physical conditioning and batting, bowling and fielding technique than "mental disintegration" of the opponents. I remember, when Australia beat England 5 nil in The Ashes 2006 -07, Ricky Ponting acknowleged Buchs' ccontribution. Also after Australia won the ODI Workld Cup for the third consecutive time. Shane Warne and his crony, Ian Chappell, may think lowly of John Buchanan,but the slide of Australia does not have to do as much with technique as mental toughness, a never -say -die spirit, a "we WILL win" approach. Remember, Australia is the ONLY country that has 16 consecutive Test wins, not once, but twice - and ALL in John Buchanan's time. So what Australia's cricketers need is for John Buchanan to come back as Coach.

  • POSTED BY gogoldengreens on | January 8, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    Heads in the sand stuff by hierachy - If that is the best they can do time look else where for a coach.... Selectors did a very good job- Hahahaha funny one Andrew just like when you did a very good job when you were hooking fast bowlers - back in your playing days. Maybe we should get Hilditch out there giving feilding practice to catches at fine leg!! Love the comment on his player profile that he is a solictior but he lacked the IQ to place hook shot away!!

  • POSTED BY richtomcook on | January 8, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    australia have to learn from england. cut the selectors, coach and captain. they need to find a new captain-coach. keep pointing,watson,khawaja,clarke,hussey haddin,johnson,siddle. three new faces eg. hauritz(incredible decision),harris (if fit). gradually introduce new young talent. will probably lose next ashes if not next two or three.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | January 8, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    Tim Nielsen does not have the pedigree to be a national coach. Here's some alternatives: Tom Moody (successful coach with Worcestorshire and Western Australia, and played for Australia, unlike Nielsen), Geoff Marsh (coached Zimbabwe and also played for Australia), Steve Waugh (long-term highly successful player for Australia), Allan Border (all-time great and long-term player and captain for Australia). One of those would do a great job. Nielsen is quite simply a poor choice. Let's pick people who have either played for Australia with distinction or at least are professional high quality coaches. I said when he was hired that Nielsen was a desperate choice as coach and I'll be glad when he is gone.

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2011, 11:11 GMT

    Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said after the match that his panel had done "a very good job" during the series.

    If losing 3-1 constitutes a very good job, Hilditch's expectations must be set at a very low standard indeed. Or is that just a sly way of placing all the blame onto the players; ie we picked a very good side, they just played crap.

  • POSTED BY ihaq1 on | January 8, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    The views represented by micheal clarke suggest that he does not know much about test cricket...in test cricket u have to play according to the conditions and just cannot go in and hit every ball...australia have developed a one day mentality because they had great batsmen in the past...but the situation has changed drastically and australia need to bring in test batsmen since their one day specialists are failing..u can see from the 20-20 team that australia has selected that only watson and steve smith have survived as batsmen and clarke was dropped as captain...

  • POSTED BY on | January 8, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    Nielsen has to go. Player skill has dropped since he took over across the board and that can only be the responsibility of one man, the coach.

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | January 8, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    It's ok for people to play their natural games, the problem is that Smith, Haddin and Hughes natural game is to slash and waft.

    They are going to have to choose players who are more suited to the format if the idea is 'to play your natural game'.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | January 8, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    Words like, merit, character, responsibility, accountability and teamwork must be poison to Sutherland, Hilditch and Nielsen. They dont exist in their own vocabularies or personal make up. I say, let them stay in charge and lets see how much further we can fall. Clearly, 5th isnt far enough. Lets watch our best players languish in the first class ranks. Im sure we dont need guys like Hodge, inexplicably dropped in 2008, David Hussey, best record in the country by miles but never picked, Nathan Hauritz, most improved test player, but dropped, O'Keefe, best spin bowler in the country by miles and a genuine all rounder, not picked. Trent Copeland with a record to rival McGrath, not selected, Chris Swan, outstanding swing bowler and useful batsman, not selected. Lets watch rising stars like Hughes ruined because they arent text book. Lets include no name players like Doherty and Beer again. Lets tout very modest players like Ferguson and Marsh-6 centuries each in 60 games. Lets fail.

  • POSTED BY KingofRedLions on | January 8, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    I like Clarke's approach, personally.

  • POSTED BY cricket-vid on | January 8, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    Seems Aussie are in denial. "A very good job" - what are we coming to. Are we really going to accept such a dismal season? Re: Selectors - no Hauritz - picking two guys with first class bowling averages in the 40's and expecting them to make an impact? Picking two out of form batsmen to come into the team, picking 17 players for the 1st test (that shows direction). Re: Coaches - the Aussie fielding is the worst it has been since the 80's - whilst the bowlers struggled to take wickets they weren't helped by dropped catches. Text message to Bobby Simpson - "please make another comeback and teach this generation of cricketers how to catch - you did it so well last time." Re: Players - Don't worry our selectors will look after you - and if we drop you its only a matter of time before we'll pick you again. Yes-as an Aussie fan-I predicted a 3-1 drubbing. Lets stop being arrogate and stop thinking were still that great team of the last decade. Lets be honest & rebuild like we did in the 80s

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | January 8, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    It may seem petty, but i want the authentic Phillip Hughes back. When he first arrived in Sth Africa, he was the best offside player id ever seen. His unusual technique allowed him to hit balls off the stumps and short of a length for boundaries. Those deliveries would normally be considered good line and length to other players and yet by making room they disappeared through the offside field or straight down the ground. Spin bowlers were thrashed. Centuries and records mounted up at 62 runs per hundred balls. It was heady stuff for a fearless 20 year old. Watching him since the australian coaching staff"improved"him, a genuine sense of revulsion wells up in me at their behaviour. Already dropped 3 times by Hilditch and co., afraid and uncertain which stroke to play, he courageously gets in behind the line and gets out. Indeed, all of the so called technically correct players fail. Imagine if Lara, Doug Walters, Graeme Pollock or Bradman ever got into this groups hands. God help him.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | January 8, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Sutherland, Hilditch, Nielsen and co. remain the most toxic administration in our history. It was clear at the aftermatch conference at the SCG that Clarke was not happy about being captain and why. It should be obvious to everyone who has watched australian cricket for at least the last 2 years, that the coaching staff have had a terrible impact on the playing styles of the group. Clarke deserves absolute respect for stating that if he is to take responsibilty, then he wants control. Anyone should consider that reasonable. Clearly, Nielsen isnt reasonable. The changes that Sutherland and Nielsen are talking about were supposed to be in place 2 years ago. The idea that they are just starting now is insulting. The batting styles in the first and second innings SCG test were totally different. England showed that Clarkes second innings way was by far the better way. The group is wracked with doubt and the selections leave them little hope. The Perth pitch was a farce. What a disaster.

  • POSTED BY Mervo on | January 8, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    So CEO of Cricket Australia James Sutherland thinks Neilsen is doing a great job? Amazing. And Neilsen is contracted until 2013. Even more amazing. This is all about protecting their backs. This is our national game and it has sustained us in bad times and good times and these guys are just unworthy. Reform CA, get a new CEO, new Coach and new Captain. They cannot be the solution, when they are the problem.

  • POSTED BY TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on | January 8, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    Is any more evidence required to determine that the entire coaching staff and selectors need to be replaced ? If the board of Cricket Australia think these guys are doing a good job, then they should be looking at their own positions too. If Cricket Australia was a company, the share price would be rock bottom and all these bums would be looking for a job elsewhere.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | January 8, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    Thank goodness England have Andy Flower and Andy Strauss in charge. The approach from the current Australian guys running things seems as disjointed and scatterbrained as England's policies were for many years. To shrug your shoulders and say the coach and selectors did everything right and it was just the players who weren't good enough is the way to ensure Australia stays a poor side for years to come. Clarke seems to be equally clueless, which isn't surprising as his test cricket has all been played under Ricky Ponting. Australia's lack of discipline and failure to execute a game plan (if indeed they had one) was clearly and painfully exposed by England's superiority in every aspect of the game- batting, bowling, fielding and captaincy. From an England supporter to the Aussie fans, we've been there, and take it from us, it's not a fun place to be.

  • POSTED BY Something_Witty on | January 8, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    Watto, Hussey, Siddle and Haddin are the only guys in the team who can hold their heads high. It was a truly abysmal performance from our boys. I expect better in the very near future.

  • POSTED BY tfjones1978 on | January 8, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Nielsen is correct and Clarke doesnt understand the basics of test cricket. Clarke will be a hopeless captain that will make Kim Hughes & 1980s look like the golden period of Australian cricket. Clarke should be dropped, as should Ponting and Hilfenhaus. Hughes, Smith and Beer should play in 2 test series against Bangladesh (after World Cup but before August test series) and if they dont show promise then they should be dropped as well. In the Bang test series Aust should have Marsh, Hughes, Khawaja, White (capt), Cosgrove, Smith, Pain (wick), Swan, Butterworth, Cameron, Faulkner & Beer with one of the last 5 12th man. Aust could also take another specialist batsmen & another specialist bowler as backup (ie: 14 man squad). My squad for Aug tests on current form Marsh, Khawaja, White, Hussey, Cosgrove, Watson, Haddin, Johnson, Hauritz, Harris & Siddle. This would give 7 quality batsmen, 5 quality bowlers and 2 extra bowlers (White & Cosgrove) to fill in for 10-15 over per day.

  • POSTED BY ThePieChucker on | January 8, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    Hilditch thinks he and the other muppets did "a very good job"? Incredible! This is the selection panel which dropped Hauritz before the Ashes and ignored him for the rest of the series, and brought in superheroes like left-arm spinner Doherty, bits-and-pieces cricketer Smith, and utter unknown Beer. This is the panel which did not permit Hussey and Bollinger to return home early from the Champions League to prepare for the Ashes. This is the panel which brought in an unfit Bollinger for one match and dropped him thereafter. And what about the batting selection? They stuck with an inconsistent North all the way until the Ashes, and dropped him soon after, with no obvious replacement. Smith is your idea of a replacement Hilditch and Co.? Hilditch should be Co-Man of the Series, along with Cook, so valuable was he to England.

  • POSTED BY drjaygoyal on | January 8, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    like always...australia are poor losers...

    com on aussies....accept u r not that good any more and start rebuilding ur team...

    sulking and being in denial in gonna do u no good...

    this is da time to reflect back and move forward.....don't be sore losers...learn from ur mistakes...

  • POSTED BY saifud on | January 8, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    i feel pity on australia team mhean they are loose such of this way deafeat.btw,this is waht we call life just like the ball.sometime we at the top,even sometime we gone bottom.

  • POSTED BY jlw74 on | January 8, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    That article to me says it all! Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower were most certainly on the same page as 1-3 would suggest. For Michael Clarke to readily admit he is unable to put away the shots and occupy the crease for a day and a half and to also not be instilling survival to his team says everything about his unsuitability to be the Captain of this side. 10 hour 145 not outs shielding the tail is what world class test batsman attempt when trying to save a test match. Whilst I was impressed by the way he went about things in the field for the majority of England's 644 this advice from the captain is simply not good enough.

  • POSTED BY CRam on | January 8, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    Very clearly, the top leadership is evading responsibility, with the players the only honest blokes who accept reality. Clear the bottlenecks (which are always at the top), get good players who yearn to represent Australia in, and you will see the fizz returning to the team. The rebuilding will take time, but it needs to start NOW, and how!!

  • POSTED BY Namboodiripad on | January 8, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    Hilditch and Chappell has done well, Nielsen and Langer has done well, so has Clarke and Ponting as captains and players. And still they lost 3-1 to England. That does not augur well for Australia for the future. Shows that not only are they are really the number 5 team in the world but the cupboard is bare in terms of players, coaches and selectors!

  • POSTED BY Hoggy_1989 on | January 8, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    Sack them all. Everyone from James Sutherland all the way down to Michael Clarke. Only then can we rebuild and get back to our best.

  • POSTED BY indianpunter on | January 8, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    If this isnt the lowest of the low for Australia, then what is? time for introspection and to make some hard calls. Hilditch, Nielsen, Hilfenhaus and Ponting (as captain) has to go. I still think Ponting has something to offer as a player. Look ahead and plan for the future.

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  • POSTED BY indianpunter on | January 8, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    If this isnt the lowest of the low for Australia, then what is? time for introspection and to make some hard calls. Hilditch, Nielsen, Hilfenhaus and Ponting (as captain) has to go. I still think Ponting has something to offer as a player. Look ahead and plan for the future.

  • POSTED BY Hoggy_1989 on | January 8, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    Sack them all. Everyone from James Sutherland all the way down to Michael Clarke. Only then can we rebuild and get back to our best.

  • POSTED BY Namboodiripad on | January 8, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    Hilditch and Chappell has done well, Nielsen and Langer has done well, so has Clarke and Ponting as captains and players. And still they lost 3-1 to England. That does not augur well for Australia for the future. Shows that not only are they are really the number 5 team in the world but the cupboard is bare in terms of players, coaches and selectors!

  • POSTED BY CRam on | January 8, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    Very clearly, the top leadership is evading responsibility, with the players the only honest blokes who accept reality. Clear the bottlenecks (which are always at the top), get good players who yearn to represent Australia in, and you will see the fizz returning to the team. The rebuilding will take time, but it needs to start NOW, and how!!

  • POSTED BY jlw74 on | January 8, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    That article to me says it all! Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower were most certainly on the same page as 1-3 would suggest. For Michael Clarke to readily admit he is unable to put away the shots and occupy the crease for a day and a half and to also not be instilling survival to his team says everything about his unsuitability to be the Captain of this side. 10 hour 145 not outs shielding the tail is what world class test batsman attempt when trying to save a test match. Whilst I was impressed by the way he went about things in the field for the majority of England's 644 this advice from the captain is simply not good enough.

  • POSTED BY saifud on | January 8, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    i feel pity on australia team mhean they are loose such of this way deafeat.btw,this is waht we call life just like the ball.sometime we at the top,even sometime we gone bottom.

  • POSTED BY drjaygoyal on | January 8, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    like always...australia are poor losers...

    com on aussies....accept u r not that good any more and start rebuilding ur team...

    sulking and being in denial in gonna do u no good...

    this is da time to reflect back and move forward.....don't be sore losers...learn from ur mistakes...

  • POSTED BY ThePieChucker on | January 8, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    Hilditch thinks he and the other muppets did "a very good job"? Incredible! This is the selection panel which dropped Hauritz before the Ashes and ignored him for the rest of the series, and brought in superheroes like left-arm spinner Doherty, bits-and-pieces cricketer Smith, and utter unknown Beer. This is the panel which did not permit Hussey and Bollinger to return home early from the Champions League to prepare for the Ashes. This is the panel which brought in an unfit Bollinger for one match and dropped him thereafter. And what about the batting selection? They stuck with an inconsistent North all the way until the Ashes, and dropped him soon after, with no obvious replacement. Smith is your idea of a replacement Hilditch and Co.? Hilditch should be Co-Man of the Series, along with Cook, so valuable was he to England.

  • POSTED BY tfjones1978 on | January 8, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Nielsen is correct and Clarke doesnt understand the basics of test cricket. Clarke will be a hopeless captain that will make Kim Hughes & 1980s look like the golden period of Australian cricket. Clarke should be dropped, as should Ponting and Hilfenhaus. Hughes, Smith and Beer should play in 2 test series against Bangladesh (after World Cup but before August test series) and if they dont show promise then they should be dropped as well. In the Bang test series Aust should have Marsh, Hughes, Khawaja, White (capt), Cosgrove, Smith, Pain (wick), Swan, Butterworth, Cameron, Faulkner & Beer with one of the last 5 12th man. Aust could also take another specialist batsmen & another specialist bowler as backup (ie: 14 man squad). My squad for Aug tests on current form Marsh, Khawaja, White, Hussey, Cosgrove, Watson, Haddin, Johnson, Hauritz, Harris & Siddle. This would give 7 quality batsmen, 5 quality bowlers and 2 extra bowlers (White & Cosgrove) to fill in for 10-15 over per day.

  • POSTED BY Something_Witty on | January 8, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    Watto, Hussey, Siddle and Haddin are the only guys in the team who can hold their heads high. It was a truly abysmal performance from our boys. I expect better in the very near future.