Sydney, Feb. 6 (ANI): Dismissed as a has been at the start of the Australian summer, middle-order batsman Michael Hussey continues to be a key member of Australia's Test and one-day teams, and is ranked the best one-day batsman in the world.
According to cricket columnist Peter Roebuck, at the start of the summer, Hussey's crisis of confidence was more in the head than in performance in the field, and adds that his age was also of not much help.
However, as of now, he says there is no question of putting him to pasture, given his rich reign of form in both Tests and ODIs during the past four months.
"Not bad for a bloke in crisis. In all its arrogance, youth thinks the game belongs to them. Truth to tell, Hussey never did show the telltale signs of decay. Admittedly, he kept losing his wicket cheaply, and that hardly helped his cause. Certainly, his figures plummeted from their heady heights. But he did not keep getting inside edges or being late to the ball, like Cinderella," says Roebuck in an article for the Sydney Morning Herald.
"As far as Hussey is concerned, the one-day rankings tell the tale. Take a peek at them. By any reckoning, he is keeping good company. These are the greatest batsmen of the era. Either it's a fluke or Hussey can still handle a willow. Of course he bats down the order and sometimes remains unbeaten but that is a skill in its own right. If anything, it suggests that he is wasted high in the order in Test cricket. He's the sort of player who needs to be given a task, forced to attack. Most of his finest Test innings have come in adversity, with a tailender by his side and runs urgently needed. His hundred at the SCG was merely the latest in a long line of brilliant turnaround efforts," he adds.
Roebuck, however, says that Hussey's form can be faulted on two counts-He remains weak against spin and his footwork, or rather lack of it, and shot selection let him down. For a player of his class, he has a remarkably fragile defensive game against tweakers.
His other frailty has been a tendency to open the face of his bat at impact, thereby causing slices to gully. The pull and extra-cover drive are his best shots, and he needs to execute them well. In trouble, he tends to go in search of them as opposed to trusting them to emerge naturally. (ANI)