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Nielsen blames Ishant Sharma's decline on lack of support

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Mumbai, Oct.22 (ANI): Australian cricket team coach Tim Nielsen believes that young Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma is not getting adequate support from the management or the coaching staff at a time when he is clearly declining from a form point of view.

Nielsen believes the sacking of fast bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad and fielding coach Robin Singh reflects grave fears about the development of Sharma and other young players.

"That's may be one of the reasons why they've changed their staff, trying to spark a bit of a change of message or voice to their younger players who might've gone a little off the boil over the last little while," Nielsen said.

"Sharma's an example of young players when they do start well there's expectation on them the whole way through, they find it difficult, they become targeted by opposition teams. Rather than being the second or third fast bowler in the group, you all of a sudden become the one everyone's very aware of," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Nielsen, as saying.

He also finds it amazing that Prasad and Singh had worked with the Indian team on a series-by-series basis since their appointment in 2007 and neither were ever permitted to sign a contract.

They were crudely informed of their removal via the Indian media, and there appear no plans to have fresh staff in position by the time the one-day series against Australia begins at Vadodara on Sunday.

"I am deeply disappointed and hurt by the way in which it has been handled, Prasad told the Hindustan Times.

"All I can say, with a clear conscience, was that I gave it my 100 per cent, and I wasn't short on either commitment or effort. We must realise that we can't keep winning all the time. We can't keep blaming the bowlers and the fielders for every debacle. Cricket is a team game, and it is important to recognise and appreciate that fact," he added.

Nielsen echoed those words as he reflected on his own support staff.

"From our perspective, one of the things we try to maintain with our staffing and the way we approach it is that we're aiming and wanting to win and preparing as such for every series we play in," he said.

"But if things don't go exactly to plan there's no point having huge clean-outs or changing over your personnel either staffing or playing-wise. I feel as though we've got an excellent staff working well together. The young players and the older players are responding really well to them," he added. (ANI)

Story first published: Thursday, October 22, 2009, 12:20 [IST]
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