IPL 2013: MS Dhoni's double hundred was a series-defining innings, says Michael Hussey

Michael Hussey (left) said Mahendra Singh Dhoni s innings in the first Test between India and Australia hurt the visitors psychologically © AFP

Chennai: Mar 30, 2013
Former Australian batsman Michael Hussey is excited to be back in Chennai for the sixth season of the cash-rich Indian Premier League.
 “It is wonderful to be back in Chennai to renew friendships,” Hussey was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Hussey was in touch with his Chennai Super Kings teammates when Australia toured India.
“I told them I wanted them to do well personally but Australia to win matches. But, the Australians lost every match! I think Dhoni’s double hundred was a series-defining innings when the first Test was in the balance. It hurt the Australian side psychologically.”
 “[Murali] Vijay, actually, just needed an opening. I love watching him bat,” Hussey said.
“I want to be a part of CSK as a player or in whatever role for the next two or three years at least. I just love it here,” said Hussey.
Speaking about the absence of Sri Lankan players in IPL 6, the 37-year-old said it will be a shame.
“It’s a shame. The Sri Lankan players have nothing to do with what happened or not. The Sri Lankan players, like the others, just love playing the game. CSK itself will be without Nuwan Kulasekara, who I believe, is an extremely useful bowler in these conditions.”
Hussey feels the controversial axing of four Australian cricketers proved to be a distraction for players during the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Australia were whitewashed 4-0 by the hosts.
 “I think the decision should have been kept behind closed doors. The players could have been punished differently. Like lapping the ground till it really hurt, or having to pay a fine. I think all the publicity the move got ahead of a crucial Test proved a distraction to the players. It was not good for the morale, or the spirit of the team. It should have been handled differently.”
Speaking about Michael Clarke’s on-field aggression and handling the team, Hussey said, “When the players are unsure of their places in the team, just trying to settle into the side’s culture, it is hard to show that kind of aggression,” Hussey said.
When the ball turns and you are new to the conditions in India, you do not know which delivery has your name on it. That is why you need to kick on after starts. I must say I was disappointed by some of the shot selection. It was hard for me to watch the Australian team beaten in this fashion.”
However, Hussey was all praise for Clarke.
“He is clear about what he wants and the direction in which he wants to take his team. This is important for a leader. But, filling the shoes of a giant like Ricky Ponting is never going to be easy.”
Hussey feels it will be difficult replacing greats like Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne in the team.
“People ask me about Shane Warne’s successor, but how are you going to do that? Somebody like Warnie comes once in a lifetime.”