London, Aug.15 (ANI): Australian cricket's "Mr. Fix It", Michael Hussey, whose Test batting average has more than halved in the past two seasons, is under immense pressure to score to retain his place in the national squad ahead of the fifth and final Ashes Test to be played at The Oval next week.
Former batting greats Dean Jones and Mark Waugh believe Hussey is seriously under threat to hold his position heading into the home summer, although both noted that he had the tools to climb out of the hole.
Hussey's Ashes average of 25.83 will be of greatest disappointment to the man himself and continues a decline over the past two seasons.
His overall Test average is a mighty 52.39, but this year it sits at 27.84 from eight Tests, while last year it was 37.50.
Compared with 2007's effort of 74.80 and his first two years in the Test team (85 in 2005 and 80.41 in 2006), the numbers are alarming.
Heading into the final Test of the series, Jones and Waugh said Hussey needed a big score at The Oval.
"He is seriously in trouble. He has not scored a century in his last 27 Test innings. I really like watching him bat when he's in full flow. He thinks on his feet, he is a great runner between wickets. There is no real weakness in his technique," The Sun quoted Jones, as saying.
"He needs a big score in the fifth Test. People always remember the fifth game, they don't remember the first four. People always remember the last half of your career, not your first," he added.
Waugh said Hussey's declining average would have selectors sharpening their pencils.
"He has got an excellent record, he has been a top player for quite a while. In the last year his average hasn't been great, way below what his Test average is," Waugh said.
"We know he's a good player, but everyone needs runs. No one has a God-given right to be in the team.
"[Selectors] have probably been a bit lenient on him because he has such a good record. It has come to the stage where he will need to score shortly," Waugh said.
Hussey's last Test ton came in October last year against India, when he powered to 146 at Chinnaswamy Stadium.
"I think he's got too careful. He is a man trying to protect his average, instead of concentrating on how he got the average in the first place," Jones said.
Waugh said: "Hussey has still got some good years left in him. He will know he's under pressure; most players know when they are. I thought he batted very well in the second tour game at Worcestershire [when Hussey scored 150 and 62 not out].
'He showed some good signs at Edgbaston [surviving a king pair to make 64 in the second innings]. If he can get out there and relax, hopefully he can turn it around." (ANI)