Michael Hussey

Michael Hussey retired from Test cricket after the Sydney Test against Sri Lanka © Getty Images

Sydney: Jan 28, 2013

Australia’s former batting coach Justin Langer feels that the spot left vacant by Michael Hussey’s retirement is yet to be filled.

The former Test opener and the current Western Australia coach believes more youngsters need to present a strong case for national selection and need to be vying for Hussey’s Test spot.

Hussey retired from Test cricket in the Sydney Test against Sri Lanka and left a void in the Australian batting line-up as Ricky Ponting also decided to call time on his career recently.

Langer felt that more and more youngsters need to grab this opportunity and try to get into the Australian Test side. He also said that he was impressed by Steve Smith’s form in the recent Sheffield Shield game.

“I was impressed with how patient he was on a tough wicket. He seems to have tightened his game,” Langer said. “We probably bowled a bit straight to him which is right up his alley. He’s so strong through the leg side. I thought he played really well and showed good discipline.”

Usman Khawaja is in pole position to take Hussey’s place in the batting line up but his Shield average has been poor this summer. Rob Quiney, Alex Doolan, Glenn Maxwell and Smith are amongst the other contenders.

“I would say there’s no one smashing the door down,” Langer added, as reported by Sydney Morning Herald.

Langer said he did not know as to why there were very few youngsters trying to break into the international scene and felt that this was a good time to be a hard working youngster in Australia.

“I’m not sure what the answer is but mental resilience and good technique are really important.”

“The lack of perceived depth means there’s unbelievable opportunities for kids out there who want to work hard and improve their technique and be mentally resilient. Imagine being a youngster now if you’re a spinner or a batsman, it’d be awesome.”