Australia have been unbeaten so far in the World Cup but when trouble arises, Mike Hussey will be the man to steer the ship through bumpy seas.
That’s the word from Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke, who says Hussey’s recall to the squad as a replacement for injured fast bowler Doug Bollinger is a huge bonus.
Hussey has recovered from hamstring surgery and joined the team in training at Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday after arriving in India the previous night.
The 35-year-old West Australian, who was left out of the 15-man squad which departed Australia for India last month because of hamstring surgery, made his comeback at Shield level last week, scoring 19 and 11 against Queensland in Perth.
‘Huss brings a lot to our team, a lot of experience. His career in all forms of the game is as good as anybody in the world,’ Clarke enthused.
‘His statistics are unbelievable in one-day cricket and he has been very successful in the subcontinent.
‘Opposition teams will definitely take note that Michael Hussey is back in our squad and will play a big part in the rest of this World Cup.
‘When the team was first selected, he wasn’t fit … and now he is so it’s great to have him back around.’
Hussey averages 51.98 in 151 one-day internationals and his average in India against India is a staggering 95.50 in eight matches.
While the move to bring a middle-order batsman in for a pace bowler would normally have raised eyebrows, Australia have also arranged for left-arm quick Dirk Nannes to join the squad this week as a standby player.
Unbeaten in their first three games, Australia play minnows Kenya and Canada in Bangalore on March 13 and 16 as they build-up to their final Group A clash with Pakistan in Colombo three days later, where top spot in the group could be decided.
‘More than anything else, Huss’s experience, knowledge of conditions and the success that he’s had in the subcontinent will play a huge part for our team,’ Clarke said.
‘He has shown a number of times throughout his career that he can get us out of trouble and win games on his own so I’m very confident that having Huss around and back into our team is certainly going to help us in this tournament.’
by Buford Balony