Need to show patience with players than chopping and changing too much: Mike Hussey
Michael Hussey (Getty Image)

Former batsman Michael Hussey feels too much chopping and changing is hurting Australia’s progress in international cricket. Hussey, widely known as Mr. Cricket, has urged the selectors and the management to invest time and effort on players other than implying frequent changes that do not allow players to settle well.

In the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner because of bans, Australia lost to England 0-5 in England and have lost 17 out of 19 games played this year. Their recent loss, by six wickets against South Africa on Monday was their seventh in a row, and the low they have suffered reflects on their ranking. In June, Australia slipped to No. 6 in the ICC ODI rankings and have stayed there since.

Moreover, Cricket Australia replaced Tim Paine, who was named captain after Smith’s ban, with Aaron Finch as captain of ODI and T20I squads. Regarding such moves, Hussey has urged the authorities to show patience with players and their decision in order for them to learn and progress.

“There have been some concerning things happening over the last couple of years that I think have certainly affected the team,” Hussey told Adelaide radio station 5AA.

“We have chopped and changed the team way too much in the last couple of years. In fact, I think other than Sri Lanka we have made more changes than any other country in the whole world. And that doesn’t help a team settle and gain continuity and gain a bit of trust with each other. Some of that (change) has been circumstantial with injuries and different tours and things like that. But I think that’s been one of the things that’s affected the team.”

Australia last won an ODI series was in 2016 when they beat Pakistan. Since, the selectors have picked up 31 different players, which is quite alarming. Teams like Sri Lanka and West Indies others who have tinkered way too much.

“Good teams have… that core group that have stuck together over a long period of time,” Hussey said. “I would just really back the group that they have got there now. Yes, OK, they’re not doing the job at the moment. But if we just stick with them, we know they’re all good players, let them grow together … then hopefully we will start to see some improvement,” Hussey said.

Hussey also feels it is not possible for coach Justin Langer to be carrying on in all three formats. Langer was appointed head coach after former coach Darren Lehmann had stepped down following the ball tampering controversy in March, and under him, the side lost the Test and T20I series in the UAE and were blanked by England 0-5.

“I think longer term, it’s just going to be impossible to do all three jobs,” Hussey said. “It’s just too hard. There’s too much that goes into just one of those jobs, let alone doing all three. Where the team is at … he just wanted to grab all three teams and try and get a bit of uniformity about how things are going to run and set his standards for all three teams.”