Shocked North rubbishes calls for Hussey's axing

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Perth, Dec.12 (ANI): Middle order Australian batsman Marcus North has rubbished calls for Michael Hussey axing from the Australia side, as he prepares for his first home Test at the WACA against the West Indies, starting on Wednesday.

North has scored three Test centuries and averages 44.57 over the last 10 months.

His Australian and Western Australian team mate Hussey, however, averages just 34.50, but has scored a century at The Oval, and been in terrific one-day form. He has put up scores of 66, 41 and 29 in Brisbane and Adelaide against the Windies.

North expressed shock over comments made by Shane Warne and former Test selector John Benaud.

"I was pretty shocked to hear that. There's been a bit of debate about his (Hussey's) position, but his form over in India in one-day cricket has been outstanding, he finished the last Test match in England with a fine hundred and he's walked into Brisbane and Adelaide in great form," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted North, as saying.

"He would have liked to turn some of those starts into three figures, but he is hitting the ball as well as anyone in the Australian batting line-up and hopefully this week once he gets going, the three figures will be coming Huss' way," he added.

"It's up to whoever wants to make those comments. They are in positions to have their opinions on the Australian team, and if they think they are right, that's fine. Our focus is on winning this Test match starting Wednesday and winning the series 2-0," he said.

North is preparing to play his 10th Test for Australia and first on his home turf at the WACA, where he will have both his and his wife's parents watching with a host of friends.

It will be a special occasion for the 30-year-old and a reward for the hard work it took to play Test cricket.

"I'm really excited and just looking forward to getting in the preparation for it. I'm looking forward to Wednesday coming around and getting out there to sing the national anthem," he said.

"To me it's just a special occasion playing at home in front of family and friends, I don't see it as any added pressure.

"Every time you walk out to play for Australia, there is pressure, so this is just a celebration of 10 years of hard work to finally get the opportunity to play here for Australia." ANI)

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