Tim Nielsen, the Australian coach, will be in charge until the end of the 2013 Ashes after his contract was extended on Tuesday. Nielsen, who took over from John Buchanan in 2007, has kept Australia as the No.1 one-day nation but under his watch the Test team has slipped from top of the world to No.4.

Since taking over from Buchanan, Nielsen's outfits have won 20 of 36 Tests, 57 of 88 ODIs and 18 of 33 Twenty20s. "I am excited about the coming phase in Australian cricket," Nielsen said. "We have players who have come into the group over the last year or so who have found their feet at international level and more young players coming through, it is a great time to be renewing my role."

Ricky Ponting said Nielsen's reappointment was a "fantastic step forward for Australian cricket". "I look forward to continuing our close working relationship as this team enters a period of great importance, striving to reclaim the Ashes and secure a fourth successive World Cup," he said.

Nielsen, a former South Australia wicketkeeper, was once an assistant to the Australian team under Buchanan and also was in charge of the Centre of Excellence before gaining the top job. The players cheered Nielsen's extension when told at their camp in Queensland.

"Tim has been at the helm through a significant and challenging period of transition which has seen a number of once-in-a-generation global champions retire from the Australian team," James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, told the players. "Working closely with Ricky Ponting, team leadership, national players and team management, he has played an important role leading Australia through that transition."