Cape Town (South Africa), Mar.25 (ANI): Australian middle order batsman Michael Hussey is hoping that the selectors will not cast him aside for the upcoming Ashes series because of his current poor form.
Hussey's disappointing performances across the entire summer, at home and in South Africa, have left room for questions about whether he remains an automatic choice.
Hussey has averaged a tick under 20 in the six matches against South Africa (23 if you include the two against New Zealand at the start of the summer) and hasn't made a century for 22 innings, but he has a couple of things in his favour.
He showed signs of coming good on the last day, fighting hard for 39.
The competition for his spot is not overwhelming.
And history tells you selectors are loath to sack good players - his average is still 55.29. just a tick under Ponting's 56.20 - too hastily.
Greg Chappell and Mark Taylor are two who survived horror stretches as bad as Hussey's.
But there will need to be a contingency plan, which suggests the selectors might want to take the current top six and two reserves.
Prolific Victoria opener Chris Rogers should be one, with South Australia's Callum Ferguson and Michael Klinger, Hussey's brother David, and the luckless Shane Watson probably the contenders.
Johnson's explosive but classy maiden century has done himself and everyone else, including the captain and the selectors, a favour.
It has confirmed that he is a genuine all-rounder and can slot in comfortably below keeper Brad Haddin.
More importantly, perhaps, it allows for an extra strike bowler to play - Lee perhaps - and to lessen Johnson's workload.
Johnson was looking tired in Cape Town and no wonder - he has bowled 300 overs in six matches against South Africa, or 50 apiece.
That's a significant jump from the 39 he was averaging over his first 15 matches.
Ponting possibly aside, Johnson is now the most important, influential - and talented - figure in the team, and its only truly intimidating bowler. (ANI)