The Ashes 2010-11 December 31, 2010

Australia fall short on coaching front too

Basic skill issues have not being identified and fixed by the Australia's bulging batch of professional support staff
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This Ashes series has exposed the huge gulf between the expertise of the England and Australia coaching staffs. Andy Flower's meticulous campaign has his men purring while Tim Nielsen's home side has spent most of the summer praying for a handful of guys to cover up a glut of mistakes.

The stark reality is Australia have been out-batted, out-bowled, out-fielded and out-thought for most of the campaign. Playing strength is obviously the main reason for the result, but the combatants are groomed by the head coaches and their bulging batch of assistants.

Flower, a hugely respected former Zimbabwe batsman, appears like a Godfather over the England side, working out his strategies and speaking simply and sternly. Nielsen is more like a mate to the Australians than a task master, a friend on the training paddock and a sounding board, rather than a master tactician or disciplinarian.

Since being defeated in the 2009 Ashes, the Australians have beaten West Indies, a questionable Pakistan outfit at home, and New Zealand away. In the past six months there has been a drawn campaign with Pakistan, a 2-0 loss to India and now this fumbling Ashes show. Australia's summer began with a seven-match losing streak across all competitions and so far the only international successes have been a dead-rubber ODI win over Sri Lanka and the dead-cat bounce in Perth.

Changing personnel and under-performing leaders have contributed heavily to the results, but the coaching staff has been unable to provide much measurable support. Under Nielsen there is the bowling mentor Troy Cooley, the batting assistant Justin Langer, the fielding coach Mike Young and the analyst Dene Hills. Stuart Karppinen, the fitness and conditioning coach, also has a first-class bowling background.

In this series Australia have only three batsmen averaging more than 25 and one of those is the No.7 Brad Haddin. The elite run-makers have failed mostly due to sub-standard techniques against fine opponents, and ignoring basic rules like not following the ball on seaming pitches. It was particularly costly at the MCG, and would have been fatal if it wasn't for the brutal reply of Mitchell Johnson at the WACA.

The bowlers have been unable to hold a teasing line for long periods, which is essential against accumulators like Strauss, Cook and Trott. Their only sustained success is starving Paul Collingwood, a small trophy. Ryan Harris, who is out with a stress fracture, and Peter Siddle are averaging in the 20s while Johnson (35.09), Hilfenhaus (73.50), Shane Watson (87.00) and Doug Bollinger (130.00) have been much less effective during the entire campaign.

England's attack has been able to mix discipline with potency and its back-up men have starred when required. Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan fitted in perfectly when called, while Bollinger was simply unfit when promoted for Adelaide. The punishment didn't last long and he is back for Sydney.

In his public discussions Nielsen talks a lot without saying much. He likes players "to execute their skills" and perform in the "critical moments". There are "big challenges" in which the guys need to "maintain their focus"

Costly chances have been dropped, such as the misses by Haddin and Michael Hussey in Adelaide, which followed the stunning efforts of England in the opening hours of the game. The tourists are in such good shape that they were also able to drop two catches early on the first morning at the MCG and still dismiss Australia for 98. The local ground fielding has been sloppy and the hosts have no run-outs compared with England's three. Watson has been involved in two of those, but both times Jonathan Trott's throws were sharp enough to take advantage of the lapses.

Haddin, who has done a lot more keeping than his counterpart, has 43 byes for the series next to Prior's 14. Nielsen is a former wicketkeeper so he spends hours with Haddin, who still struggles with his footwork. While he can take spectacular diving takes down the leg side, he is not a natural gloveman and misses more simple offerings. He didn't even go for an edge in Perth that went between him and Watson at first slip. There are also times when Haddin doesn't bother trying to intercept wide leg-side deliveries, even when he should be expecting them from Johnson. In the fifth Test he is the vice-captain.

If these basic skill issues stand out for spectators, then how are they not being identified and fixed by the professional coaches? Outside the team Nielsen is nicknamed "Teflon Tim" because none of the criticism of the side sticks to him.

Nielsen has been in the job since replacing John Buchanan in 2007, when Australia were the best in every format but Twenty20, and keeps gaining new contracts despite not having any major trophies since beating South Africa early in 2009. (Australia won the Champions Trophy later that year but it has become a minor tournament.) Before the summer his deal was extended to after the 2013 Ashes series. Nielsen has never been part of a side that has won the urn, overseeing the 2009 and 2010-11 campaigns in which the same mistakes have occurred under pressure.

After the Melbourne defeat, which ensured England retained the trophy, he was pressed on whether he was doing a good job as coach. "I'm probably the wrong person to ask in some regards," he said. "It's hard for me to sit here and say I'm not doing a good job -- I believe I am. I believe I'm doing everything in my ability with my staff and the playing group to perform at the highest level that we can."

In his public discussions Nielsen, 42, talks a lot without saying much. He likes players "to execute their skills" and perform in the "critical moments". There are "big challenges" in which the guys need to "maintain their focus".

Hard questions are usually laughed off, but this time he admitted to feeling the strain. "No doubt," he said. "When you're losing Ashes series you always feel under pressure. When you're losing Test matches, whoever your opposition may be, you feel under pressure."

He said he questioned himself "quite strongly" after the innings defeat in Adelaide. "Did our preparation give us the best chance of starting well and being in the game?" He did not provide himself with an answer.

Yet there is still a large element of denial about the strength of England and the weaknesses of his own side. "It was only seven days ago we were on top of the world and everything was going along swimmingly," Nielsen said. The last time Australia were No.1 was during the 2009 Ashes. They are currently fourth and have sung the team victory song only once in their past seven matches in whites.

"We understand that we've got some talented cricketers in our team but we didn't click as well as we would have liked in Melbourne," he said. There was no clicking either during the long days in Adelaide, Brisbane, Bangalore, Mohali and Leeds. In Perth there was the swing of Johnson and Harris, and the fine batting of Hussey to hang on to.

Those close to the team insist Nielsen brings huge value to the squad. James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, is a strong supporter, believing in his technical knowledge and man-management abilities. Greg Chappell, the selector, took Nielsen on as an assistant at South Australia in 1999. When Chappell has been watching training over the past month he seems desperate to want to take over. There are experts everywhere but the success has disappeared. For so long the innovators, Australia are now battling to catch up.

Cooley was viewed as the greatest bowling coach in the world after 2005, but he might instead be one of the luckiest. His reputation was made while working with a wonderful attack that mastered the secrets of reverse-swing, something Cooley has never managed consistently with any Australian line-up.

After spending two weeks in the nets with Johnson, Cooley was able to make him purr for three days in Perth, where the breeze appeared more like the magic tonic than any technical tips. The bowling philosophies of David Saker, the ex-Victoria assistant who is now with England, impress gnarled former fast men and he has designed specialist strategies for each ground.

The next job for Cooley is the head coach of the Centre of Excellence, where staff have previously wondered about the praise he has gained for employing the same methods they all learned on the way through the training systems. Langer, a firm friend of Ricky Ponting, was catapulted into the batting role and has a simple philosophy for the run-makers.

"Focus on seeing the ball out of the bowler's hand and winning every contest," he told ESPNcricinfo in November. "If you do that enough the result looks after itself." People at all levels of Australia's set-up have taken their eyes off the ball.

Young, a former Australia baseball coach, was first employed under Buchanan but remains on a part-time contract despite the increasingly error-prone fielding displays. Fresh players, such as Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja, are not naturally athletic and need moulding quickly. Steven Finn, who is 21 and 6ft 7in, bent low for a stunning caught-and-bowled at the Gabba and then outlined how he practised the low takes at every session because that's what he needed to do to be an elite fielder.

Hills wasn't allowed to take up his job as the video analyst until the second Test in Adelaide because he had spent a couple of seasons working with Flower on England's performance programme. There were initial fears from England that he would pass on secrets. They needn't have worried.

In their current state, the Australian players are having too much trouble surviving to be able to enact detailed plans. England, who have retained the Ashes, enter the final Test of the series with a 2-1 advantage and the rubber could still be drawn. But the difference between the outfits is huge, both in the middle and in the nets.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CustomKid on January 5, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    @Trickstar you are spot on with both posts. Cricket at all levels in Australia is in serious trouble. Other sporting codes offering more positions and equally good money are becoming the first choice of junior sports players. From grade cricket all the way through to first class needs reviewing including all administrators at CA + selectors.

    On paper AUS is a better team statistically than ENG. Yet they have completely smashed us being a more diciplined, incredibly drilled unit. Other than Collingwood every player is contibuting - even he helps with stunning catches. In the Aussie side 3 players have contributed all summer - Watson, Haddin, Hussey you cant win like that.

    It's almost like they're not putting in the work behind the scenes. I know when simpson was coach he worked them hard. He would then make them practice feilding for 2 extra hours killing them, sometimes breaking fingers. They became the bench mark on field for 20 years. Where has that gone??

  • Trickstar on January 3, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    @mamahajan89 If you think nobody critisized the England team in the 90's as well as their coaching team, you haven't a clue,they were the most critisized team ever they got it from all quarters because they wre poorly coached and constantly under performed.You talk rubbish all way through, how have the English had luck ,even when they bowled it wasn't swinging viciously that got wickets ,it was bowling the right line and lengths and getting the batsmen to play,infact it never swung viciously all test match full stop. The Aussies bowled under similar conditions, but bowled too short and too many pies. You just sound bitter and a excuse maker, especially with comments like 'one good catch and fortunate runout does not make england a great fielding side',you really can't have watched even one minute of the Ashes if you think that because everyone else who has watched it in both camps have said that England's fielding and catching is the best in the world at the moment.Keep on dreaming.

  • Trickstar on January 3, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    @badgingarra What are you on about, the bloke who wrote this is Australian himself, don't get your knickers in a twist because one of your fellow countrymen can see what is happening in Australian cricket.

  • Governor on January 2, 2011, 22:29 GMT

    James Sutherland, Andrew Hilditch and Tim Nielsen must be accountable for the lack of succession planning and presence of ignorance in not learning from our darkest periods from 1984 to 1988. How can Sutherland and Michael Brown extend Tim Nielsen's contract in a similar vein to former Essendon CEO Peter Jackson extending former Essendon AFL coach Matthew Knights' contract? We need a new Head Coach who can show some tough love to our young cricketers and display the tactical acumen to assist Ricky Ponting in his ability to mould our next generation of test cricketers into champions. We need a Steve Rixon or Mickey Arthur who can guide Usman Khawaja, Stephen Smith, Alex Keath, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson into our next 10 to 15 year test match players.

  • ygkd on January 1, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    I fail to understand how anyone can think a coach "working on finer points" with a mature player is not called "teaching". My Yorkshire Pood ancestors would have laughed at that idea, along with other apparently modern thoughts that snacking between meals might not constitute "eating", nor one for the road - "drinking". There is an old Highland saying which, translated into English, means "Learn young, learn beautifully." Players of previous generations didn't need adult coaches as such. They had a quick chat with another player and worked it out for themselves. Maybe people were brighter then?

  • debjyoti1983 on January 1, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    kudos to andyflower.....he,for a long time moulded a bunch of club cricketers into professionals.... his never say die approach and immaculate work ethic has again shown us that in most professions sincereity helps more rewards than flashes of brilliance....

  • ihaq1 on January 1, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    i think hyclass is right that CA makes mistakes for money minting ads...australia should just hope that the team was playing badly because of rickys bad captaincy and bad batsmanship...or perhaos clarke and company were forcing him out as he was refusing to go on his own...experience is just as good as your recent form...previous aussies knew when to retire...now they probably have other things on their mind...Nielson does seem tobe a poor coach and probably has not worked out an overall strategy although how a good batsman like langer can be so casual is worrying as all batsmen donot play badly due to the same reason...some have developed a mental block or phsycological fright, other foot movements are going astray...some maybe using teh wrong bat or are unsure how to play particular deliveries...not looking at the ball properly and only playing instinctively is a relatively rare fault...langer should look at the last few dismissals of each batsmen and advize if he has the expertise

  • croneyes on January 1, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Warren what about John Buchanan, he only played about 2 games for Queensland yet is considered one of the great coaches of the modern era. Many experts will tell you that former players don't always make good coaches. I would imagine that it is also very difficult to coach players that are earning 10 times more money than what you are on. I believe the dilemma is partly a mental thing - soft players with weak mental strength, and partly due to overall selections. They have picked flashy players that look good on weet bix commercials and have invested millions in guys like Clarke and Johnson that if they were to be sacked would result in a financial disaster. Heads of the selectors and CA officials would also roll, so it is a catch 22 situation. Therefore I don't see that too many changes will be made to the team, which would suggest that the worst is still to come. One can only hope that they pick their act up and work harder to improve and actually play somewhere near potential.

  • moinilyasneral on January 1, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    aus, as they say, "ain't seen nothing yet"!! Their worst days are still to come with greg chappell as their coach from now..all of us remember how India cricket went to new lows when he was coach after John Wright brought some semblance of success to the team. I think it is just a matter of time before aus have to ask Buchannan to come back as coach, or find a good, young ex player(like India has done with Gary Kirsten) from another country..anyone is better than greg !!However, with ricky hopefully out of the team forever(he will NEVER overtake Sachin in runs and 100's now),once aus find a better successor than clarke, aus may just about be able to deal with a minnow or two(Zimbabwe, Afghanistan) but should not expect Bangladesh to roll over, as I feel today even they will just about beat aus, and after a few months of greg, surely beat them.

  • badgingarra on January 1, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Don't get too excited there boss, with Australia's current dilemma. It's been twenty four long year for the poms to win out in Australia, that's half my life so far. It won't take Australia 24 years to get back to being right up the top again, with or without Nielsen ! Mark my words, we'll be back and for good measure we'll remember these little cotributions. We always have, and we always will.

  • CustomKid on January 5, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    @Trickstar you are spot on with both posts. Cricket at all levels in Australia is in serious trouble. Other sporting codes offering more positions and equally good money are becoming the first choice of junior sports players. From grade cricket all the way through to first class needs reviewing including all administrators at CA + selectors.

    On paper AUS is a better team statistically than ENG. Yet they have completely smashed us being a more diciplined, incredibly drilled unit. Other than Collingwood every player is contibuting - even he helps with stunning catches. In the Aussie side 3 players have contributed all summer - Watson, Haddin, Hussey you cant win like that.

    It's almost like they're not putting in the work behind the scenes. I know when simpson was coach he worked them hard. He would then make them practice feilding for 2 extra hours killing them, sometimes breaking fingers. They became the bench mark on field for 20 years. Where has that gone??

  • Trickstar on January 3, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    @mamahajan89 If you think nobody critisized the England team in the 90's as well as their coaching team, you haven't a clue,they were the most critisized team ever they got it from all quarters because they wre poorly coached and constantly under performed.You talk rubbish all way through, how have the English had luck ,even when they bowled it wasn't swinging viciously that got wickets ,it was bowling the right line and lengths and getting the batsmen to play,infact it never swung viciously all test match full stop. The Aussies bowled under similar conditions, but bowled too short and too many pies. You just sound bitter and a excuse maker, especially with comments like 'one good catch and fortunate runout does not make england a great fielding side',you really can't have watched even one minute of the Ashes if you think that because everyone else who has watched it in both camps have said that England's fielding and catching is the best in the world at the moment.Keep on dreaming.

  • Trickstar on January 3, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    @badgingarra What are you on about, the bloke who wrote this is Australian himself, don't get your knickers in a twist because one of your fellow countrymen can see what is happening in Australian cricket.

  • Governor on January 2, 2011, 22:29 GMT

    James Sutherland, Andrew Hilditch and Tim Nielsen must be accountable for the lack of succession planning and presence of ignorance in not learning from our darkest periods from 1984 to 1988. How can Sutherland and Michael Brown extend Tim Nielsen's contract in a similar vein to former Essendon CEO Peter Jackson extending former Essendon AFL coach Matthew Knights' contract? We need a new Head Coach who can show some tough love to our young cricketers and display the tactical acumen to assist Ricky Ponting in his ability to mould our next generation of test cricketers into champions. We need a Steve Rixon or Mickey Arthur who can guide Usman Khawaja, Stephen Smith, Alex Keath, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson into our next 10 to 15 year test match players.

  • ygkd on January 1, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    I fail to understand how anyone can think a coach "working on finer points" with a mature player is not called "teaching". My Yorkshire Pood ancestors would have laughed at that idea, along with other apparently modern thoughts that snacking between meals might not constitute "eating", nor one for the road - "drinking". There is an old Highland saying which, translated into English, means "Learn young, learn beautifully." Players of previous generations didn't need adult coaches as such. They had a quick chat with another player and worked it out for themselves. Maybe people were brighter then?

  • debjyoti1983 on January 1, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    kudos to andyflower.....he,for a long time moulded a bunch of club cricketers into professionals.... his never say die approach and immaculate work ethic has again shown us that in most professions sincereity helps more rewards than flashes of brilliance....

  • ihaq1 on January 1, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    i think hyclass is right that CA makes mistakes for money minting ads...australia should just hope that the team was playing badly because of rickys bad captaincy and bad batsmanship...or perhaos clarke and company were forcing him out as he was refusing to go on his own...experience is just as good as your recent form...previous aussies knew when to retire...now they probably have other things on their mind...Nielson does seem tobe a poor coach and probably has not worked out an overall strategy although how a good batsman like langer can be so casual is worrying as all batsmen donot play badly due to the same reason...some have developed a mental block or phsycological fright, other foot movements are going astray...some maybe using teh wrong bat or are unsure how to play particular deliveries...not looking at the ball properly and only playing instinctively is a relatively rare fault...langer should look at the last few dismissals of each batsmen and advize if he has the expertise

  • croneyes on January 1, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Warren what about John Buchanan, he only played about 2 games for Queensland yet is considered one of the great coaches of the modern era. Many experts will tell you that former players don't always make good coaches. I would imagine that it is also very difficult to coach players that are earning 10 times more money than what you are on. I believe the dilemma is partly a mental thing - soft players with weak mental strength, and partly due to overall selections. They have picked flashy players that look good on weet bix commercials and have invested millions in guys like Clarke and Johnson that if they were to be sacked would result in a financial disaster. Heads of the selectors and CA officials would also roll, so it is a catch 22 situation. Therefore I don't see that too many changes will be made to the team, which would suggest that the worst is still to come. One can only hope that they pick their act up and work harder to improve and actually play somewhere near potential.

  • moinilyasneral on January 1, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    aus, as they say, "ain't seen nothing yet"!! Their worst days are still to come with greg chappell as their coach from now..all of us remember how India cricket went to new lows when he was coach after John Wright brought some semblance of success to the team. I think it is just a matter of time before aus have to ask Buchannan to come back as coach, or find a good, young ex player(like India has done with Gary Kirsten) from another country..anyone is better than greg !!However, with ricky hopefully out of the team forever(he will NEVER overtake Sachin in runs and 100's now),once aus find a better successor than clarke, aus may just about be able to deal with a minnow or two(Zimbabwe, Afghanistan) but should not expect Bangladesh to roll over, as I feel today even they will just about beat aus, and after a few months of greg, surely beat them.

  • badgingarra on January 1, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Don't get too excited there boss, with Australia's current dilemma. It's been twenty four long year for the poms to win out in Australia, that's half my life so far. It won't take Australia 24 years to get back to being right up the top again, with or without Nielsen ! Mark my words, we'll be back and for good measure we'll remember these little cotributions. We always have, and we always will.

  • hyclass on January 1, 2011, 3:28 GMT

    Cricketers who win are fair dinkum. Sutherland, Hilditch, Ponting, Nielsen and co run a BS boysclub. Didnt win-BS. Picked stupid players-more BS. Sacked a matchwinner-yep-BS. In two years, no team selection has been merit based. No member of the coaching staff has improved a players record. The treatment of the 20 year old Hughes in england in 2009 in order to accomodate Watson has shattered that player. His dropping was described as unaustralian by the 3 former england captains commentating. A high level of preventable soft tissue injuries reflect extremely poorly on the fitness staff. When James Sutherland reappointed Nielsen and commended him on a great job, one may be forgiven for believing that he had become deranged. My belief is that he must go immediately.Hilditch doesnt even watch the games. Doherty,Beer,the class of North?. Once again, the compulsive happy hooker is the laughing stock of the cricket world. Unfortunately, he is taking the national team with down with him.

  • on January 1, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    This was a pretty good article, but please don't downplay what Australia achieved in Perth just to prove your point. At the risk of proving it for you, even in Perth, there were only 4 Australian players who showed good technique for a pitch of that nature. That means that 7 of 11 still underperformed. But they still won but 260 odd, which is huge. Unfortunately their bowlers have been smashed in the other three tests. I would like to know the last time a touring team scored 500+ three times in the same series.

  • Australia17594 on January 1, 2011, 2:39 GMT

    @ calypsocricket mumbo jumbo?? How is it? Many people have been calling for the coaches head, and Peter English is definitely not the first.

    Quality players are quality. But young players become quality from coaching. Everyone is born the same, it's just that the coaching can differ. Fix up Hughes and Smith technique and they could be class players.

  • YorkshirePudding on January 1, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    @youngkeepersdad, I have to disagree with what you are saying in regards to the players needing coaches. The point of the batting and bowling coach is not really to teach, its to work on the finer points, especially when a player has bad habits. Compare the England fast bowling unit, as it was in SA, they all seemed to slip into the 'pitch it short and bounce them out' trap when they are not fast enough, Saker came in and got the entire fast bowling unit to pitch it up, since then they've been world class. Agian on the batting front, every player develops bad habits, so the point of the batting coach is to work with the player to iron out the kinks, again look at cook in the summer, his foot movement was non-existant and his front leg was rigid and straight, after working with Gooch, his feet move better, and his front leg is a lot less rigid, result Leading Run scorer this series.

  • endofageofaquarius on January 1, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    I think the author has missed the point. The crucial difference between the teams has been the quality of the players and the difference in the support staff has only exacerbated this difference. The better team has simply played to form and outplayed the weaker team.

  • Rick058 on January 1, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    What the hell do we have to do to force a complete shakeup and start building for a new era? Start a revolution???

  • on January 1, 2011, 1:06 GMT

    yet another article!! Everything seems to fit in when you are winning and vice-versa!! Cooley would have been amazing if Australia 'had' won the 3rd test! And when Australia were winning more matches, even India shortlisted Australians as the potential coaches!! History is truly written by the winners and of course, for the winners!!

  • on January 1, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    The big difference between the Australian and English coach is the difference in what both men have both achieved. Andy Flower was an extremely successful wicket keeper / batsman and a good captain for his country, Zimbabwe. He featured in Zimbabwe's most successful era in Test Cricket. He knows what it takes. Tim Nielsen has never played or experienced the theatre of Test cricket. That was the key to Australia's success and rise out of oblivion in the 1980's, and it was Bob Simpson. A former Australian captain who knew how to battle, and knew what it took to win in Test Cricket. Even Geoff Marsh was a good coach for Australia because he was a seasoned Test player and Allan Borders deputy. It might time for Border to return in a coaching or managing capacity, Rod Marsh or Ian Healy wouldn't be a bad option either.

  • on January 1, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    Well written article. When you are winning everything is okay but as soon as defeat comes all kind of excuses are given.The west Indies were at the top but due to poor planning and some insularity they are at the bottom. I hope that the Aussies are beaten into submissionand as Pointoing remarked on the West Indies , that both of them can play in the B league. Pointing omission from the final excuse is a symbolic that he is running . His finger was injured but he had just beaten the Poms so he wanted to play. he lost and the finger is not healing.

  • ygkd on December 31, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    The reason Haddin struggles with his footwork is precisely due to his not getting the coaching he needed when he was young. Its a bit late now to rectify this. But noone reasonably should suggest that Prior does a better job - his footwork is much worse - his better recent record comes from keeping to England's better bowling. Neither Haddin or Prior should be first-choice national keepers.

  • ygkd on December 31, 2010, 23:25 GMT

    Coaches are over-rated entities. Kids need coaching - at what age depends upon their maturity and how much depends upon their learning potential. By the time they reach First Class level, they should no longer need much at all. If a player needs propping up by a bowling or batting coach then surely selectors should look around for someone who doesn't. That said, if you are to have a national coach, someone like Andy Flower stands out as a no-nonsense sort, the sort Australia could do with. Flower didn't appear to need a crutch when he was playing.

  • RJHB on December 31, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    Been waiting for someone to write this article, thankyou Peter! Neilson has always been associated with mediocrity or workmanlike attributes rather than elite success. How his contract keeps getting extended is beyond me. With Ponting he has overseen a myriad of poor performances in recent years with a few highlights glossing over the cracks, just as you mention has occurred this series. The poor fielding should also be linked directly with Neilson, the buck stops with him as head coach rather than on the part time fielding guy. And the apparent lack of planning under Neilson, something that was so fundamental during Buchanan's reign and so scorned by the likes of Warne, is now a very unprofessional approach in this modern game. Australia really needs to look at what the Poms have done, as they did us so many years ago during our mighty period of dominance, and learn well. The trouble is that in Australia, revolution does not come easily, and its exactly what is required now.

  • Rickaby on December 31, 2010, 22:29 GMT

    If this were any of the footy codes, the coaching (and playing) staff would have been overhauled long ago. Yes, it's a no-brainer to say that the coach cannot make up for player deficits but what we're looking at here are underperformances by quality players. The coach and staff should be able to address and remedy fixable problems with batting (technique, concentration, determination), bowling (technique, planning, control), fielding (technique, concentration), captaincy (detailed planning) and morale. England have shown how it is possible to learn from a quality outfit (yes, the irony is almost painful) and we can now do the same (not just pinch their bowling coach and dub him 'the saviour').

  • KingOwl on December 31, 2010, 22:01 GMT

    Here we go again - I am tired of reading these useless articles, and even more tired of responding. The poor Aussie performance has nothing to do with the Coach. A coach cannot do miracles given a mediocre team. An incompetent coach can certainly mess up even a great team. But, that is irrelevant to this discussion. Just like there is no one single successful leadership style, there is no single coaching style either (that is called the contingency theory, by the way).

  • katandthat3 on December 31, 2010, 21:31 GMT

    Australia have lost some great players but unfortunately as a team the Aussies have been exposed by a well drilled England side on the fundamentals in cricket which is a failing of the coaching staff and selectors for picking out of form players with poor techniques. Over the next 6 months the Australian team don't need a mate to sound off all things PC and tell them "they are trying well", "in a good place" and "hitting the ball great in the nets" - who doesn't average 90 in the nets, they need to be drilled by a disciplinarian who is tactically astute and if they don't want to - pick someone who will. It'll be detrimental to the next generation of players including Maddinson, Pattinson, Mitchell & Shaun Marsh, Ferugson, Paine, Hazelwood, Smith, Hughes and Khawaja if these coaching structures remain. They should also employ a separate coach for the national T20 side led by Tim Paine or Cameron White and either should take over from Ponting of the one-day side after the WC. Act now CA!

  • on December 31, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    It is true that Tim Nielson, Coach of Australia isn't facing the wrath or the criticism for the shoddy performance of Australian cricket team for quite sometime. Majorly because of the cockiness of Ponting which is scathed by one and all. But Australia has looked completely out of sorts on planning, execution of their game plan and also as we all know they are the poorest disciplined outfit in international cricket today.

  • on December 31, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    andy flower s the man behind england s success.........also credit goes to andrew strauss......

  • on December 31, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    I think khawja usman is gonna take Austrailia...

  • TrumperLives on December 31, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    Another negative piece of cricket blogging from Peter English. Whenever Australia or a person is down, he is among the first to put the boot in. Moreover, he is a great recycler of other people's quotes. There are cricket writers and cricket bloggers, sadly he falls in to the latter category. How about an original, constructive, thoughtful piece with some isight Peter?

  • Caveman. on December 31, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Greg Chappell was a superb batsman, a pedestrian captain and a crappy coach. He was a delight to watch on the cricket field, but post retirement he would have done well to follow his brother to the commentary box. He nearly demolished India, and is now doing the same with Aussies. The man means well, but top players are not necessarily the best leaders and coaches (case in point - Tendulkar's captaincy record).

  • calypsocricket on December 31, 2010, 16:41 GMT

    This is all mumbo-jumbo. The talks will go on and on and on. The facts are simple folks. After Australia lost most of their world class players, it is, and will be very difficult to fill that gap. This is NOT rocket science. The day WILL come when India will lose Z.Khan, Sachin,Dravid,Harbajhan, and Laxman, and they will experience the same fate as Australia is at this moment. England have a very strong,young and gifted team at the moment, and will rise to the top or very near to the top of the table in Test Cricket. It is what it is. Cricket Australia can hire and fire as much as it pleases the arrogant high rollers at the top, but it will serve no purpose what so ever(much of what they do serve no purpose anyways) They have to rebuild, and it will take time to find the right players. Thhey should use the experience of what they have now to start that process. Ricky included.

  • on December 31, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    this is a rubbish article..i stopped reading it half way through...the only reason why England outplayed the Aussies was because they had more quality players ...simple as that....coaching and preparation contributes only 10% to overall performance at this level...

  • HawK89 on December 31, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    well said landl47, the australian batsmen have played away from their pads too often and played far too many shots early on in their innings to balls that the can leave. Only one team showed a class innings with great seam bowling, strokes and fielding, and that team was england. Australia just looked like bunnys, forgot exactly what to do and embarrassed themselves at home.

  • on December 31, 2010, 16:09 GMT

    Surely the technical aspects of coaching a player should be complete before they reach the national team? Asking Tim Nielsen to correct Phil Hughes' backlift and approach 3 days before a test is a non starter...

    The Aussie loss is more about clear strategic responsibility: Is control with the selectors, the coach or the captain?

    I'm not sure blaming the Australian coach makes sense. He has little responsibility, and therefore little impact.

    My feeling is that the selectors have picked the wrong players (Hughes, Smith and a 4 man pace attack) while the captain has struggled to marshal his resources (Ponting is unable to build containing tactics after many years of always being able to attack).

    On the other hand, England appear to have clear responsibilities - thanks to the Pietersen rebellion. Andy Flower has a big say in how team selection and strategic philosophy works. Strauss executes on field, and Geoff Miller finds the players to fill the roles Flower wants fil

  • Marcio on December 31, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    "Playing strength is obviously the main reason for the result". That simply is not true. England is no team of worldbeaters. They have simply been better prepared. In several instances the key players have been new guys brought into the team with barely a wicket to their name - Finn, Bresnan, Tremlett. These guys bowl 5-10-kms/hr slower than AUS bowlers, & have little experience. They succeed because they have bowled in a well prepared team, & typically set the tone on moist wickets on the first morning of games. In Perth, AUS thrashed Eng. by 270 runs. Peter English called this "a fluke", & Peter Miller called it "anomalous". These are not analyses at all, just empty dismissals. They don't understand why it happened. It will be interesting to see what they write when AUS wins in Sydney. The AUS team does require restructuring, but it has to begin with management & leadership. The player base is not the biggest problem. There are plenty of decent players, if not quite worldbeaters.

  • REVERSESWINGER1982 on December 31, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    IT LOOKS LIKE ITS JOBS FOR THE BOYS AS FAR AS THE COACHING AND BACK ROOM STAFF ARE CONCERNED.MAYBE UNTIL THEY CHANGE THE MATE CULTURE AND PASSING THE BOOK WHEN THEY FAIL AND ARE'NT OPEN TO CRITISISM THEY WONT BE ABLE TO GET OUT OF THIS CURRENT RUT THAT THEY'RE IN.ANYONE FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN CAN SEE THAT PERHAPS THATS WHATS NEEDED SOMEBODY FROM OUTSIDE,IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING OK FOR ENGLAND.

  • landl47 on December 31, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    One of the things I've noticed is that Hughes and Smith, the youngest players in the Australian squad, don't seem to have good batting techniques. Neither of them move their feet well, and they play a lot of shots with their bats at strange angles. As a result, they look ugly and unbalanced at the crease. They both have great hand-eye coordination, which enables them to play attacking shots, but inevitably they are found out by moving balls. I don't know whether this is a result of having learned their cricket in the era of T20, when firm-footed heaves are the norm, but both of them need to learn much better technique if they are to survive as test batsmen. Langer's philosophy is fine as far as it goes, but if a batsman just stands there looking at the ball, it doesn't matter how well he sees it, he's not in a position to play correct strokes. One of the reasons Cook has played so well is that he's worked at moving his feet. The young Australians need to do the same.

  • mamahajan89 on December 31, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    this is ridiculous mr. peter english...australians are going through a bad phase...that doesnt mean that we start questioning the skills of those players who hv ruled cricket for years......every team goes through a bad phase...ironical that this bad phase followed englishmen for 24 long years and no one questioned their skills then. its easy to get carried away with success. agreed that at english have outplayed aussies in 2 of the 4 test matches.....but they have luk going their way.....MCG wicket that swung viciously but flattened out once english batted. give aussis some time and see them bash up poor england again in 2013...and one good catch and fortunate runout does not make england a great fielding side.... i'd request you to be a little more discrete with your articles...villifying a team going through bad phase is no good journalism.

  • Okakaboka on December 31, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    Excellent article and highlights many of our National side's problems. Yes our selectors are faulty...we need new ones that don't have state bias. But we also need expert coaches.....you can't just take ex champions and assume they will be excellent coaches. Clearly the current lot are not qualified anyway.....Nielson is not a coach. As a tennis coach I can tell you a coach does need full understanding of technique and how it relates to biomechanics. There is no way the clowns attempting to coach our National Cricket team has this. I have seen first hand outstanding coaching by Warne, Fleming, and Gillespie.....great bowling coaches and they really know their stuff. Jamie Siddons, among others, would be a great batting coach. I hope the powers at be take note of Peter English's article. We need to break down the NSW Cricket Mafia to get our National team back from the Hijackers. Clarke is a dud.....and as a captain will ruin the confidence of our young stars.

  • on December 31, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    If Australia wants to regain the lost glory they need to get rid of Greg Chappell. He nearly ruined Indian cricket and is doing a grand job of destroying Australian cricket now. I cant believe how bad Australian cricket has become in a few short years.

  • Fleetwood--Smith on December 31, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    Hmmm......some interesting and rather damning comments, especially about Neilsen and Haddin. Though I wouldn't be rushing to show Hads the door given he is one of only 3-4 players who have enhanced their reputations this series. Troy Cooley intrigues me - CA were desoerate to grab him after 2005, where it seemed he could do no wrong, yet in the past 5 years, Australia's attack has been consistently out-bowled and out-swung by other countries, even India's, which has not been renowned for its quick men. Heard a lunch time talk from Jeff Thomson at the Perth Test, and he was crediting Mitch Johnson's improved showing the previous day to a session with Dennis Lillee prior to the test. Obviously Australia's post mortem's need to be full and frank from top to bottom.

  • Ozcricketwriter on December 31, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    Tom Moody, Geoff Marsh, Steve Waugh and Allan Border are all available. Why not pick one of them as Australian coach? It is just absurd to have someone as inexperienced as Nielsen when there are so many great alternatives out there.

  • dsig3 on December 31, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    Die hard Aussie supporter. I don't believe we need to drop any players. I still think punter is our best bet as captain. BUT NIELSEN MUST GO! I thought this in the 2009 ashes when he purposely leaked Langers famous dossier and put the pressure on us. Fielding is woeful now in the Aussie camp. Fielding is one area where you can improve dramatically if you work on it. All the aussies are talented fielders and have been taught from a young age. No excuses get rid of him!!!!!

  • ell_bee on December 31, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    Thanks for this article, Peter. Please email a copy to our selectors in the hope that within the next year or so they recognize their basic failures. I cannot fathom how they are persisting with personnel that are not up to the task and never will be (Hilfenhaus) and those that are there for their ugly tattoos.

  • anver777 on December 31, 2010, 12:15 GMT

    Its a TEAM game, so when a team does well everybody praises the captain,coach & players , likewise when it fails most of times the blame goes only to the team captain....but i think the team's coach & players also should take the blame for the poor show.........

  • on December 31, 2010, 12:07 GMT

    May be Greg Chappel should coach Australia.... his autocratic style will work on Oz players...birds of same feathers.....

  • Mervo on December 31, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    Neilsen would be a great coach for the Boys Town 11, not for the national cricket team. the old style coach does not work anymore. All the effective coaches are like John Buchanan. His record speaks for itself. Get rid of Neilsen and the other two coaches. We have been out coached in our own conditions and that is terrible.

  • Australia17594 on December 31, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    Be fair, Haddin's byes came by Johnson's wides which weren't called. ABC grandstand even said that aleem dar had something against Haddina as joke...

    Coaching Staff EASY:

    Hodge, Langer, Hayden: Batting Coaches Warne, McGrath, LiLee: Bowling Coaches Waugh, Border, Warne: Aggresion Coach

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 31, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    What sort of a coaching would you recommend for the likes of Ponting, Clarke, Hussey and Katich who failed? All these are seasoned cricketers. Of course, one can always improve and even turn a new leaf. Ask Kallis, Sehwag and Sachin. Maybe making Ponting AND Clarke sit out a season, will invigorate them as well as the rest!

  • Baundele on December 31, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Australia can have Jamie Siddons. He has some great ideas about developing players and Australia can benefit from that. He has also the experience of working with the Australian team as an assistant of the legendary coach John Buchanan.

  • gogoldengreens on December 31, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    I agree with the line that Cooley may have been the luckiest coach in the world because of the bowlers he had to work with back in 05. How can anyone who had a first class bowling ave of 61 seriously be in charge of coaching the bowlers. His player profile on cricinfo says he struggled for line & length and also overstepping the bowling crease regularly. Mike Young isn't on the full time staff - unbelievable - he had us up to a great standard several years back - CA needs to pay his way full time - catches and run outs win matches.

  • Clyde on December 31, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    It must be extremely difficult for players to put up with all these experts as well as play cricket. And if you need a coach you don't have the talent needed to play Tests. Get rid of all these extras and matters will become clearer for Australia. If I were a selector I would be very wary of waxwork products of coaching. It must be plain to some involved with the game that we need players who are better than their coaches at hitting a ball, bowling one or fielding one. It has become a matter or avoiding your coach, I imagine, if you are a player. What a burden!

  • on December 31, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    I agree with most of your article. Australia has been out-played by a better coached team. There is no shame in that. England's lead-up to the campaign was much better than Australia's. Australia sent Bollinger and Hussey to India for an IPL side than had matches against India and a stupid pointless series against Sri Lankia which just filled a schedule. The Bollinger thing was beyond comprehension. Told him to play for Chennai where he hurt himself, than told him to rest for NSW and not pick him because he wasn't match-fit. Cricket Australia contradicted itself and there has been no explanation. Nielsen should not get away untouched as his tenure has had poor form and no consistency written all over it. However, your criticism of Brad Haddin must be uninformed. Numerous bouncers and leg-side wides that went to the boundary were the reason for those wides and not his poor keeping. They should have been called wides but weren't by umpires. His keeping has been superb bar 2 errors.

  • on December 31, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    I wonder if Greg Chappell should take over Coaching Australia.......within few days he would possibly write an email to James Alexander Sutherland copying John Howard that Ponting is not fit to lead Australia....Blah...blah......Ask Ganguly will tell you the rest of the story

  • Blakey on December 31, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Once again Peter English has asked all the questions ... just like all the rest of the EXPERT journalists in Austraklia. How about putting forward some suggestions to remedy our situation? I can handle our team being beaten. I don't enjoy it but I can accept it if the people in charge are being held accountable. We need to look at the NSP and their planning for the future ... clearly questionable and the various malaise that have descended upon our national team. I think it is time for Ricky to hand over the captaincy - I think Cameron White should be secconded in - and a new approach taken. Watson has plastered an obvious wound but doesn't have the game to fulfill the requirements of an opening batsman. Perhaps we could look at Mark Cosgroves efforts at opening for Tassie. Watson needs to demonstrate some greater resilience. He has repeatedly failed when Australia has neeeded him most. Clarke needs to go back to shield cricket and rediscover his basics.

  • Herbet on December 31, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    Coaches can only do so much. Australia's bastmen are poor - Hughes, Smith, Watson - very badly out of form - Clarke - and old - Ponting -. Only Hussey and Haddin have shone properly, Watson getting 50's does not count because 50's don't count for much in Test Cricket on flat tracks. Also England, since about 2003/04, have become the best in the world I believe in picking out a weakness in an oppostion batsmen and exploiting it. We did it brilliantly in 2005 and have done more or less ever since. A lot of batsmen with big reputations, such as Hayden, Clarke and Ponting himself have not done much v England. The bowlers are all limited and far less talented and experienced than Englands. Johnson's technique means he will always be wayward, resulting in losses of confidence, Siddle is one dimensional and Hilfenhaus has lacked snap. Harris I rate though, but he is injury prone. There is nothing anybody could do with the Australian spinners. Dropping the steady Hauritz was a big mistake.

  • MCCBULLDOGS on December 31, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    how the hell can you say that Brad haddin is not a natural gloveman, what a load of crap, he is a magnificent wicketkeeper, he is one of the best glovemans Australia has ever seen, and a hell of a lot better than Matt prior. The only reason he has more byes against his name is due, to very wide legside deliveries, that cannot be stopped going for four and not being called a wide!! Haddin and Hussey have been the two best players in our team!!!

  • on December 31, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    `I have read your article and think you have hit on a lot of the points that need to be looked at. I believe that Australian cricket at top level has fell behind most other country s. Their needs to be a revue by some independent people. The people that are in the leading roles need to be evaluated and other initiatives looked at.

    It is becoming a boys club set up where you have to be a part of the club to be able to work within the system. The way they have structured the development of cricket in Australia is ok except for a lot of emphasis on limited over cricket but, that is generating the money. ACB doesn't do something quickly we could end up in this situation for another 5-10 years.

  • StarveTheLizard on December 31, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    England seem to have a good coaching staff. I don't believe that this is the reason for the difference in standards between it and Oz's, however. There was a time when Troy Cooley and Mick Young were seen as being the best in their field. I think the criticism of Haddin is unwarranted as well. It must be very difficult to keep when your frontline bowler sprays the ball everywhere. These guys are still good. Langer is a very good batting coach. He let his frustrations be known after the Melbourne display. Apparently there will be a review of the whole system after the series is over. I do not believe that any of the stakeholders (Ponting, Nielsen or the selectors) are included. If so then perhaps some real answers might come out.

  • Sanj747 on December 31, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    Nielsen is a huge problem. Add Cooley and Langer, what a huge payroll and 3 stooges who can't deliver. Whilst it's the players who need to perform, add the coach/es, the Chairman of selectors, the captain and vice captain, we have a leading sporting team/organisation in the country without a rudder. James Sutherland, it stands out so clearly. As CEO you have some responsilibyt towards this mess. The basic issue is a lack of leadership in every corner of Cricket Australia.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on December 31, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Its amazing how much aussie media and fans want to win its team everytime they r on the field i mean they win almost everything everytime they r still world odi no 1 its just past two ashes and remember this is not over yet can still draw it i mean even when they are losing its not that bad when poms lose they are terrible are n't they ? remember after ashes 2009 loss they won 6-1 against england how many sides can do it that too in an away series HOPE PUP'S REIGN BEGINS WITH WIN AT HIS HOME SCG

  • rollertroy on December 31, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    although this is another Peter English sensationalist article in many respects, finally someone is talking about the real problems in the Aussie camp. Before a ball was bowled, this series was lost because the preparation simply wasn't right. There was 3 rounds of the shield comp before the first test, yet most of the players were either rested in some of the games or playing a pointless oneday series against Sri Lanka. England on the other hand prepared early, played 3 meaningful warm up games. Look at our spinning options, we started the summer with Hauritz, and Smith and O'Keefe in the A game, now Hauritz and O'keefe seem to have vanished off the national radar with probably the strongest domestic form!! man for man we can match English, but the so called expert man management needs a complete overhaul.

  • on December 31, 2010, 8:13 GMT

    What a great article! Australia will not win tests/series with this pathetic Tim Nielsen as coach. Get rid of this piece of crap called a coach, I have been saying this for years! Since he became coach Australia went backwards. CA must rather approach Shane Warne to coach the team. It wont be long and Australia will be no.1 again! But not with this overated and incompetent tim nielsen as coach!

  • DTAI on December 31, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    Oh my God! Someone has finally twigged to the fact that Neilsen is incompetent The rest of the world knew this two years ago!!!

  • goodhoot on December 31, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Troy Cooley spent 2 weeks in the nets with Mitchell Johnson,I was of the belief that it was the great DK who after 3 deliveries said Johnson's delivery stride was too long.He cut it back,Johnson was able to deliver from a taller more upright stance and the ball swung.Magic!None of the bowlers in Melbourne pitched the ball full enough for it to swing,yet the Poms were able to not only swing,but reverse swing and movement off the deck.I agree also with the Justin Langer comments.It never comes easy,anything,hard work and practice is the key,like the old philosophy, the harder I work,the luckier I get

  • KingofRedLions on December 31, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    Criticising the coaching panel is futile. Are good players the result of good coaching, or is good coaching the result of good players? Also, "Teflon Tim"? Did you make that one up yourself?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • KingofRedLions on December 31, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    Criticising the coaching panel is futile. Are good players the result of good coaching, or is good coaching the result of good players? Also, "Teflon Tim"? Did you make that one up yourself?

  • goodhoot on December 31, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Troy Cooley spent 2 weeks in the nets with Mitchell Johnson,I was of the belief that it was the great DK who after 3 deliveries said Johnson's delivery stride was too long.He cut it back,Johnson was able to deliver from a taller more upright stance and the ball swung.Magic!None of the bowlers in Melbourne pitched the ball full enough for it to swing,yet the Poms were able to not only swing,but reverse swing and movement off the deck.I agree also with the Justin Langer comments.It never comes easy,anything,hard work and practice is the key,like the old philosophy, the harder I work,the luckier I get

  • DTAI on December 31, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    Oh my God! Someone has finally twigged to the fact that Neilsen is incompetent The rest of the world knew this two years ago!!!

  • on December 31, 2010, 8:13 GMT

    What a great article! Australia will not win tests/series with this pathetic Tim Nielsen as coach. Get rid of this piece of crap called a coach, I have been saying this for years! Since he became coach Australia went backwards. CA must rather approach Shane Warne to coach the team. It wont be long and Australia will be no.1 again! But not with this overated and incompetent tim nielsen as coach!

  • rollertroy on December 31, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    although this is another Peter English sensationalist article in many respects, finally someone is talking about the real problems in the Aussie camp. Before a ball was bowled, this series was lost because the preparation simply wasn't right. There was 3 rounds of the shield comp before the first test, yet most of the players were either rested in some of the games or playing a pointless oneday series against Sri Lanka. England on the other hand prepared early, played 3 meaningful warm up games. Look at our spinning options, we started the summer with Hauritz, and Smith and O'Keefe in the A game, now Hauritz and O'keefe seem to have vanished off the national radar with probably the strongest domestic form!! man for man we can match English, but the so called expert man management needs a complete overhaul.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on December 31, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Its amazing how much aussie media and fans want to win its team everytime they r on the field i mean they win almost everything everytime they r still world odi no 1 its just past two ashes and remember this is not over yet can still draw it i mean even when they are losing its not that bad when poms lose they are terrible are n't they ? remember after ashes 2009 loss they won 6-1 against england how many sides can do it that too in an away series HOPE PUP'S REIGN BEGINS WITH WIN AT HIS HOME SCG

  • Sanj747 on December 31, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    Nielsen is a huge problem. Add Cooley and Langer, what a huge payroll and 3 stooges who can't deliver. Whilst it's the players who need to perform, add the coach/es, the Chairman of selectors, the captain and vice captain, we have a leading sporting team/organisation in the country without a rudder. James Sutherland, it stands out so clearly. As CEO you have some responsilibyt towards this mess. The basic issue is a lack of leadership in every corner of Cricket Australia.

  • StarveTheLizard on December 31, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    England seem to have a good coaching staff. I don't believe that this is the reason for the difference in standards between it and Oz's, however. There was a time when Troy Cooley and Mick Young were seen as being the best in their field. I think the criticism of Haddin is unwarranted as well. It must be very difficult to keep when your frontline bowler sprays the ball everywhere. These guys are still good. Langer is a very good batting coach. He let his frustrations be known after the Melbourne display. Apparently there will be a review of the whole system after the series is over. I do not believe that any of the stakeholders (Ponting, Nielsen or the selectors) are included. If so then perhaps some real answers might come out.

  • on December 31, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    `I have read your article and think you have hit on a lot of the points that need to be looked at. I believe that Australian cricket at top level has fell behind most other country s. Their needs to be a revue by some independent people. The people that are in the leading roles need to be evaluated and other initiatives looked at.

    It is becoming a boys club set up where you have to be a part of the club to be able to work within the system. The way they have structured the development of cricket in Australia is ok except for a lot of emphasis on limited over cricket but, that is generating the money. ACB doesn't do something quickly we could end up in this situation for another 5-10 years.

  • MCCBULLDOGS on December 31, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    how the hell can you say that Brad haddin is not a natural gloveman, what a load of crap, he is a magnificent wicketkeeper, he is one of the best glovemans Australia has ever seen, and a hell of a lot better than Matt prior. The only reason he has more byes against his name is due, to very wide legside deliveries, that cannot be stopped going for four and not being called a wide!! Haddin and Hussey have been the two best players in our team!!!