Australia veteran Michael Hussey targets 2015 World Cup

Michael Hussey said he is not thinking about retirement Getty Images

Adelaide: Jan 22, 2012

He slogged it out for over 10 years in domestic cricket to get his first Test and veteran Australian batsman Mike Hussey said youngsters who want to replace him will have to earn their spot in the team as it is not his “responsibility to pass the baton on”.

“Next generation has to earn their right. I played for over 10 years of first class cricket for one game of Tests. I don’t feel it’s my responsibility to pass the baton on,” the 36-year-old batsman said ahead of the fourth and final Test against India starting on Tuesday.

“The first class structure though has changed. When I was coming through, pitches were very good and batsmen were getting 1000 runs in a season on a consistent basis.

“Now conditions are more seamer friendly. It’s uncommon, indeed rare, to have 1000 runs in a season. The goalpost has changed. We have a few outstanding batsmen who have played in difficult conditions. The 600-700 runs in a season now is worth 1000 runs of olden days,” he added.

Hussey, who has scored 253 runs at 84.33 in the ongoing four-match series which Australia leads 3-0, made it clear he wasn’t prepared to hang his boots yet in preference to a younger guy.

“All I am looking forward to is this Test, not beyond it. I have set myself up for this Test, my body feels good, I’m playing well and am mentally keen for battle in the middle.

“Playing next Twenty20 World Cup is a carrot, I want to be part of the World Cup again. I didn’t do well in West Indies, at least the way I would’ve liked in Tests, so I want to go there and play well. There’s one-day cricket in England which is always fantastic.

“When I came in, I was lucky enough to be in a team which is the best I ever played for. Now having gone through the turbulence, I would like to be a part of it on way up again.”

Hussey also doesn’t think that other senior members of the team like Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin have any plans to retire.

“We haven’t spoken (on it). But just watching them go about their training, the hunger is there. I would be surprised if other guys wanted to move on. They all are wanting to be part of the team. I haven’t picked up any hints that they are going to leave the game,” he said.

Hussey claimed he has enjoyed the company of younger cricketers who have come in and joined the team.

“Somebody like Ed Cowan is similar in character. He too discusses strategies, how to face to Zaheer or Ashwin or Ishant. We toss around a lot of ideas. But then there is Warner who, while we are talking about how to survive, says why not smack it over the top.

“It’s great to know how different guys are thinking about the game. You provoke a conversation and come to know them a bit better.”

Asked what he had on mind post-retirement, Hussey said, “I don’t know what I’d like to do. Coaching, media or administrative stuff, I have to see what I like, I don’t really know at the moment.”

“Presently, I love playing and passing on my experience to help younger members of the team. To contribute to Australia’s success as they work their way back to be number one, I want to play a role in that journey,” he added. (PTI)