Melbourne:Australia coach Tim Nielsen has come out in defence of his embattled players claiming they were not 'timid' as was suggested after recent Test series defeats against India and South Africa.
Australia had lost the away series against India and then the home series against South Africa.
In between their only success was the Test series triumph against neighbouring New Zealand.
"I'm certainly not saying it's (the team) timid," Nielsen said after his team's training session in Potchefstroom ahead of the first Test against South Africa starting February 26. Nielsen though admitted the team was going through a rough patch.
"It's more difficult when you are not holding the mantle of being the team that has just won the last series we've played," Nielsen was quoted as saying by the 'Herald Sun'. Nielsen went on the offensive when asked Australia looked rather circumspect in recent times.
"It's more a perception of Australia being cocksure over a long period of time. The fact that we have won a lot of series and won a lot of cricket games that people see us as being that way.
"And now you're telling us that we're maybe not as cocksure as we should be. But inside the group we are very confident. We feel as though we've got a good group ready to play good Test-match cricket," he said.