The Hussey Delusion

9 11 2010

Greg Chappell and Andrew Hilditch are quoted in this article in the Daily Telegraph as suggesting that Mike Hussey’s place in the Australian batting line-up is safe ‘for the time being’. What they really mean of course is that, providing he scores at least 50, in one of the first three test matches he will see out the Ashes series – and in all likelihood only be dropped when he himself retires.

As English supporters we are thoroughly pleased to see him given this reassurance.An average of 33 and only 2 hundreds in the last couple of years suggests that when Hilditch gave Hussey of being a ‘great player’ for Australia he is totally unaware of the facts or simply unwilling to risk youngsters for a key series. Hussey was a great player (for maybe three years) but definitely not is.

Australia are undoubtedly a weaker side with Hussey in it but due to innate conservatism from the Australian selectors, things are unlikely to change soon. In days gone by an all star Aussie team could afford to carry a player while they waited for them to find the last vestiges of form and class – Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh’s lean periods are testimony to that. Yet today in a weakened side this is not the case and, had we been an Australian website, we would be fuming at his (and Marcus North’s) continued protection.

A damning thought that might illustrate to the selectors just how far he has fallen is that most English fans now regard Hussey in the same way as Australians do Alistair Cook. The problem with this view is that during the same period Cook averages 42 and has scored 6 hundreds – a far better effort than Hussey’s so the comparison is scarcely deserved. In fact Hussey’s record over this two year spell is similar to players such as Musfiqur Rahim, Travis Dowlin, Junaid Sidiqque and Martin Guptill – hardly greats of the modern game – despite what Andrew Hilditch may tell you.

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