Believer Hussey hopes for special Cup experience

Personality

Class act: Michael Hussey has been a mainstay in the Australian batting line-up and after getting a lifeline will look to spur his team to another World Cup.

Mike Hussey is obviously a great believer in the virtue of being patient. He didn’t give up when the Australian national selectors for years ignored his mountain of runs in domestic and English country cricket, and he wasn’t going to throw in his towel when he was left out of the World Cup squad in the sub-continent after a hamstring injury.

He was of course hurt, and the normally reticent person spoke openly about the snub. In the meanwhile, the 35-year-old kept working on his fitness and he was ready to play for a Western Australian side in a domestic match even as Australia were preparing to take on Zimbabwe in their opening World Cup match in Colombo. A potential embarrassment was averted after he was persuaded not to take part in the game, but Hussey had made his point and it was difficult for men who matter to ignore the veteran’s claims for a second chance when Doug Bollinger was ruled out of the tournament following an ankle injury.

“I had put the emotion and energy towards rehabilitation to get back as fast as I could,” said Hussey. “To play in any World Cup game is extremely special. To come back and play in this World Cup would be probably even more special considering the setbacks I have had in the last couple of months,” he noted. 

Ricky Ponting too sounded a bit surprised with the speedy recovery that Hussey had made. “Probably till a week ago we were thinking of making it without Mike. Now Mike’s made an exceptional recovery. (He) probably surprised a lot of people in medicare in Australia and some guys here. It’s great to see him around the group. I’ve had a close look at him in the last couple of days in training, striking the ball really well,” the Australian skipper said.

For all, Mr Cricket may replace his younger sibling David Hussey in the playing 11. “I haven't spoken to him (David),” noted the older Hussey. “I don't know what the selectors are going to do. I am just going to prepare as if I am going to play. At the end of the day, it comes down to selectors to make those decisions. I am not sure what's going to happen at this stage. I am hoping to play. But if not, I will keep preparing so that I can be ready if I am required at some stage,” he thought.

In a country where it is hard to retain your place in the side with advancing age, notwithstanding your utility, Hussey hopes to prolong his career in all three formats of the game. “I haven't considered anything at this stage (about giving up any format),” he pointed out. “The key factors for me first of all are am I contributing to the team, am I enjoying the contest out in the middle and am I still enjoying playing for Australia, doing all the travel and training and still trying to motivate myself getting better. At the moment, I am certainly ticking all those boxes. I want to continue playing. It took me so long to play one game for Australia. I just don't want to pull out the stumps on anything soon.”

Somebody, who averages fewer than 52 after playing 151 one-dayers and just over 51 in 59 Tests, has to be special, but Hussey thinks otherwise. “I am just a normal, everyday guy,” he said, ever so modestly. “I am just trying to do my job in the team. I don't put any more pressure on myself and just do the job the team requires in any particular game. If the team requires me to try and go 20 an over, that is what I will try and do. If the team needs me to stay there and win the game slowly, that's what I will try and do,” he remarked, as if all of that was as easy as the click of a mouse.

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