Home > Features >

Michael Hussey – a statistician’s delight, a scorer’s nightmare

Michael Hussey - a statistician's delight, a scorer's nightmare

Michael Hussey fields in the deep during Day Three of the Third Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 5, 2013 in Sydney © Getty Images

By Madhav Krishnan

Michael Hussey bid farewell to Test cricket at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday. If one ever had a doubt about how to go about stuff, Hussey must be their perusal – method over madness, caution mixed with aggression, the bulwark in times of crisis, and the catalyst for every canter.

Not the boisterous Aussie you would think of, Hussey is said to be one of the nicest guys on and off the field. Trained to be a science teacher, he has applied a few dynamics of lesson planning and exam preparation to the way he goes about with cricket.

Before you could say Jack Robinson, he would nudge singles and doubles and pile up forty runs, laced with the odd boundary or two. You might even notice a Ricky Ponting racing to a hundred, but when you take a look at the scorecard, you would surprisingly find Hussey batting on 80 with a healthy strike-rate.

A farmer’s doppelganger, he was one who kept the score ticking. Supposed to carry on from where Michael Bevan left, Hussey has been as assuring in ODIs as he was in Tests. He was never the average cricketer but one who was always associated with an average that was of antique value. Perhaps, Hussey ticks a few boxes that Bevan somehow could not – a successful Test career.

One of Hussey’s high-octane performances would be the planned assault of 60 in 24 balls against Pakistan that launched Australia to their solitary World T20 Final appearance, an innings that would always hold its mark in the shortest format of the game.

His last Test match at the SCG was his 79th in succession, meaning he has played all Tests ever since his debut – a testament to his fitness and purple patches with the bat. With ‘Mr. Cricket’ batting, Australia never had to worry about who was at the other end, with him masterminding many a Houdini act with the tail.

A modern legend, probably aggrandised by the fact that he had to wait for his chance which came when he was 30 years old, he grabbed the chance like no other. In a team of seasoned match winners that we know, Hussey fit into the bill like a tyre in a car.

Goldust to the side, much of his value can be attributed to the lorries and ships of First-Class cricket he had to have under his belt before he really met selectors’ eyes.  Hussey can serve as the idol to those who want a renaissance at the top, and those who want to break into the team at an age like 30.

In the Indian setting, we could be discussing a few names like Subramaniam Badrinath and Mohammad Kaif who are 30, give or take a couple of years. Although, it requires tremendous dour and self-motivation from their side to play Tests once again. Good batsmen in their own merit, they have had good domestic seasons but have somehow not caught the selectors’ eyes.

With the ‘catch them young’ trend catching up, and the call for youth in the side growing more vociferous by the day, it gets tougher for these experienced campaigners to enter the fabric. Though it would be unfair to single out one of the younger batsmen, it would be cricketing sanity to let an experienced batsman bind the middle-order given the recent batting failures and the retirement exodus of the experienced batting junta.

But anyone, who manages to come in at the age of 30 or more, walks on a tightrope with a noose tightening around the neck, facing the devil of not being picked again and the deep sea of age-related fitness and form issues and triumphs against such odds, needs to be truly extraordinary, which Hussey was.

We have moved many nautical miles from the days of WG Grace when he played till his mid-60s but still. Players like Hussey emerge to enthral us with his ergonomics, and adding winning and work ethic in his repertoire, just like WG Grace improved the repertoire of the strokes played by batsmen.

(Madhav Krishnan is a student from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (Hyderabad), pursuing M.Sc (Chemistry) and B.E. in Mechanical Engineering)
 
Michael Hussey‘s glorious cricket career in pictures

Read all stories related to Michael Hussey’s retirement

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma MS Dhoni South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

VVS Laxman expresses disappointment over Sania Mirza controversy

Mahela Jayawardene: Enjoyed century against South Africa

Kane Richardson, Ben Cutting clinical in Australia A’s 6-wicket win over South Africa A

Bangladesh recall Imrul Kayes for West Indies tour

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: Ravichandran Ashwin should play, feels Saqlain Mushtaq

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Kolkata police fan out for elusive teacher who beat 3-year-old toddler brutally

Kane Richardson, Ben Cutting clinical in Australia A’s 6-wicket win over South Africa A

Juvenile involved in hit-and-run case sent to remand home

399 million users access Facebook every month only on their mobile phones, mobile ads account for 62 percent of overall ad revenues

What is Rani Mukerji doing in Salman Khan’s Kick?

Mobile services market in India to be $19.2 billion in 2014: Gartner

UN officials highlight the rising trend of pharmaceutical misuse in India

Expecting a baby? Here’s an app that will help!

Mahela Jayawardene: Enjoyed century against South Africa

HP HC dismisses plea against merit based admission through common test

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here