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

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 3: Central Zone 68/0 at Lunch; trail by 35 runs

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 2

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Jesse Ryder claims he still has the passion to represent New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2015

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Allan Border claims Michael Clarke’s field setting ‘against spirit of cricket’

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: David Warner to keep wickets after Brad Haddin injures shoulder

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Ali Murtaza, Piyush Chawla restrict South Zone to 379; Central trail by 35 runs at lunch

Jesse Ryder gets World Cup 2015 lifeline; picked for New Zealand A squad to tour UAE

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

Is Shah Rukh Khan giving Aamir Khan sleepless nights?

Kaka to play for Orlando City in friendly match against Flamengo

Rihanna donates USD 135,000 to charity

Diet Tip #38: Choose whole wheat flour over white flour

How to sterilise your baby’s feeding bottle in 5 easy steps

Apple replaces user’s iPad for free after NASA rocket mishap

Android creator Andy Rubin is leaving Google to start a hardware startup incubator

Jennifer Lopez: “I’ve felt abused in one way or another”

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here