Sydney, Feb.19 : Australian cricket team coach, Tim Nielsen, has said that he would be quite happy to prove both India and Sri Lanka wrong in their assessments about his team.
Speaking expansively about the team, Nielsen said: "I heard Jayawardene say the other day we're (Australians) are falling off the perch, and yet twice they haven't got close. India are commenting on the fact Brett Lee's not playing, so it will be interesting to see how his replacement comes in."
"I quite like that they're concerned about us. I reckon they might want to think about their own backyard a bit more," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Nielsen, as saying.
Commenting on leadership roles within his team, he said: "We are lucky in that we have got some real natural leaders in our group. We talk a lot about the fact that everybody has to lead." He said Australian batsman Michael Clarke appears to be ready to fill the leadership void created by Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist's eminent departure from international cricket.
He said Clarke, whose responsible 79 rescued the Australian innings, had shown over the past 18 months that he was ready to inherit the vice-captaincy from Gilchrist should the selectors opt for the younger batsman ahead of, say, Mike Hussey.
"All the signs are that he is ready to stand up and do that job. Michael being the youngest of them, so he has been targeted a bit from outside," Nielsen said of Clarke, 26, who has twice captained the Twenty20 team in Ricky Ponting's absence.
He has also been Australia's outstanding batsman in the triangular series, with 212 runs in five matches at 70.66.
"Whether he has got the name 'vice-captain' next to him or not If he gets the nod, great, if it moves on to somebody else, it doesn't change his role in the group at all ... on and off the field."