23 Jul 2009

Coach says it's all in the mind for Australian cricketers

8:36 am on 23 July 2009

Australia must sharpen up mentally before next week's third Ashes cricket Test in Birmingham says coach Tim Nielsen.

The Ashes holders paid dearly for their sluggish start to the second Test at Lord's as England registered a 115-run win and a 1-0 series lead.

But Nielsen believes it's all in the mind for the Australians, having shown they had the skills in their dominant performance in the drawn series opener at Sophia Gardens.

Misfiring Mitchell Johnson is a confirmed starter for tour match against Northampton which starts on Friday with medical staff still weighing up whether Brett Lee is ready to return from the side strain he suffered on the eve of the first Test.

Lee hasn't played a Test since the Boxing Day clash against South Africa.

Shane Watson is set to play his first match of the tour after recovering from a niggling knee injury.