Nielsen working to build positive team image
Australia's coach Tim Nielsen feels that building a positive team image off the field is as important as results his team achieves on the field.cricket Updated: Nov 22, 2007 11:21 IST
Australia's coach Tim Nielsen is not only conscious about results on the field but also believes in building a positive team image.
Among the values Nielsen has promoted among his players, since taking over from John Buchanan, is the notion that how they are regarded beyond the dressing room is not always determined by the ratio of wins to losses.
The former South Australian wicketkeeper and mentor to the country's young cricketers has tried not to meddle too much with the formula that brought much success under Buchanan.
But he saw the beginning of a new era, and the influx of new players, as an opportunity to reinforce that point with a team that during its period of unprecedented dominance has been admired for its exceptional playing standards, but not always liked.
"We have done a little bit of work on how we want to be perceived as a group and how we want to go about things as a cricket team," Nielsen was quoted in 'The Age' today.
"We have refreshed our ideas there a little bit and it's been pleasing to see the players grab hold of that. We're pretty committed to those ideas," he said after the 2-0 series victory over Sri Lanka.
"(It's) not so much (about) behaviour, we understand where the goal posts are. There has been a lot of talk in the press about this being a new era, so we talked a bit in the team about how we want to play the game and what we're going to do to make sure people see that out there. It just doesn't happen by fluke," he added.
"The players need to be very conscious of presenting themselves well and representing their country with pride and passion, he said adding "That's something I believe is one of the great things about Australian cricket, not just at an international level, but at national level also."
Nielsen, a former Buchanan assistant, drove his wife to distraction with nervous energy as he paced restlessly around his Brisbane home before the Sri Lanka series.
"My wife actually sat me down three or four days before and said you'd better sort this out because you can't be like this before every Test. I've been a bit more relaxed this week" he said.
Nielsen said the prospect of improving on the record streak of 16 consecutive Test wins achieved under Steve Waugh meant nothing to him as he was not around for the first 12.
Instead, he has already turned his mind to India, who arrive next month for a four-Test series.
First Published: Nov 22, 2007 11:13 IST