Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Player Profile: Michael Hussey

The Ashes 2009

Player Profiles and Predictions

by Chris Smith

Michael Hussey

Australia’s best batsman and has been since his introduction to the team. He is a player that seems to have little or no weaknesses, both technically and mentally. As an Englishman I am straining for a weakness in his batting to exploit. Against all batsmen in world cricket a plan of attack can be made, there are weaknesses that can be probed for. Is there a plan for Hussey? The fact that I cannot think of one and that in every test I have seen Hussey play against all oppositions, there has not been a plan put into place, says a lot about his game. Opposing teams bowl more in hope of getting Hussey out than expectation.

Although Hussey is a difficult man to dislodge, recently I have seen a ‘chink’ in his armour. Hussey, in accumulating his runs is becoming slower and slower. He relies on others around him to take the game on and if England are good enough they can use this to their advantage. Putting pressure on Hussey to score is the best way to get the man out. If they can put pressure on Australia’s batting order either by placing most of the responsibility on Hussey to score runs or by bowling in such a disciplined manner as to force Hussey to play positive cricket when he gets in, they can truly test how Hussey handles pressure. This needs to be coupled with England playing a positive game themselves. If England can play more positive cricket this will force Australia to emulate them and also the Australia team of old. The Australia team of old were an imposing and positive team, possibly the most positive team in the history of test cricket. The new Australia, and this is shown in the style of their best batsman, are not like this. In many ways I think the team still want to play in the positive frame of old, the Australian media want them to play like this and the Australian public want them to play like this. The trick for England is to make Hussey think this way as well, to burst the concentration bubble, which he is so good at getting into.


Australia’s man of the series in my opinion, but whether this due to a series of backs to the wall, match saving innings or the consistent accumulation of totals to put Australia in position to win test matches, remains to be seen.

Career statistics (as of 30/11/08)

Overall: Matches: 31 Runs: 2824 Ave: 64.18

Vs England: Matches: 5 Runs: 458 Ave: 91.60
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