If you’re thinking of reading Mike Hussey’s autobiography, you’d better HOLD ON TIGHT.
Published excerpts reveal that after his final Test, the team were all going to have a boat party, but that Hussey didn’t want to go because his children wouldn’t have been allowed. Apparently some players wanted to stay with Hussey at the hotel and some wanted to go on the boat.
But brace yourself, THERE’S MORE.
Another rip-roaring anecdote surrounds the time when Simon Katich grabbed Michael Clarke by the throat. Hussey was right there and offers some real insight.
“I thought, what the hell is going on? This had come out of nowhere.”
He then details the aftermath, which involves him phoning Clarke who said it was nothing to do with Hussey really.
Hussey also doesn’t know what a coincidence is. Andrew McDonald had not ‘coincidentally replaced Andrew Symonds’ in the team. Symonds’ absence and McDonald’s presence were very much linked. McDonald is mentioned for his spectacularly memorable ice-breaking punchline after the Clarke-Katich thing. It’s towards the end of this article. We won’t spoil it for you.
What happens to Mike Hussey’s nickname now? Can you call someone Mr Cricket if their job is to inspect construction projects to confirm they comply with building regulations? We’re assuming that’s the kind of thing Mike Hussey will do after retiring – something dull that will allow him to be irritatingly officious.
He’s been a surprisingly good international cricketer though – he’ll always have that. People don’t generally remark on Hussey’s record that much because there’s always been a feeling that he was going to have a brief, statistically freakish Test career after only being capped at the age of 30. However, he’s actually hung about to the point where he’s played 78 Tests (it’ll be 79 if he doesn’t contract pleurisy or something before the New Year Test).
To put his career in perspective, only eight Englishmen have ever scored more than his 19 Test hundreds and he’s managed to average over 50 in a side that has frequently been utterly toss. He should probably get extra points for that. Unlike some of his predecessors, he’s actually had to do some bloody work rather than just mincing his way towards declarations.
Hussey also carved himself a highly unlikely short format career as a ‘finisher’. It’s quite a CV. Hopefully that will count for something when he’s job hunting next month. Bet he’s picked out his interview tie already.
What an absurd luxury to have Mike Hussey coming in to bat at seven in any form of the game. Yesterday, the man who people still tend to think of as a rather dour opening bat once again finished a game for Australia after six men had gone in ahead of him.
If he were English, he’d be up to number three, but the Aussie attitude is ‘if it ain’t broke’. And it’s far from broke. Having had Adam Gilchrist in their Test side at seven, the Aussies know that you can dispirit the opposition bowlers simply by showing them your team sheet.
Michael Bevan was the ultimate finisher, getting Australia home when they’d lost wickets and seemed miles from the target. He’d keep the run-rate just about in check and time the chase to perfection. Hussey’s done this in one-day internationals, but he also does something Bevan never really had to do: he rains sixes down upon the opposition.
He does this either to make a good score staggering or to miraculously salvage a match that seemed gone. It’s one thing to open the batting and have a heave, it’s quite another to come in at seven in a Twenty20 match and do the same.
- Openers can fail. There’s still plenty of batting to come. Mike Hussey can’t fail, because if he does, the game’s probably lost.
- Openers can choose the balls to hit. Yesterday, Mike Hussey got to the point where he had to hit pretty much every other ball for six.
- If you come in at seven and need to hit sixes, your run chase has not really gone to plan. Basically, it’s a situation where batsmen are failing.
All of which is just our way of saying that Mike Hussey’s 24-ball 60 to win the World Twenty20 semi-final in the final over (no pressure) was not a shit innings.
It’s possible there may have been some adrenaline involved in that shot.
When the best players are given a chance, they take it. For example, Mike Hussey didn’t need to be given a fifth chance when compiling 134 not out in Australia’s stunning win against Pakistan.
Dropped by Kamran Akmal off Danesh Kaneria on 23, Hussey merely narrowed his eyes and said: ‘You’ll pay for that.’
Pakistan did, to the tune of a further 22 runs, at which point Akmal again dropped him off Kaneria.
‘Now you’re for it,’ said Hussey, before punishing Pakistan with another seven runs. Akmal then completed a hat trick of incompetence off poor Kaneria.
The Australians are merciless. You quite simply can’t give one a fourth life and not expect to pay the price. They’re cold and ruthless like that.
We’ve long had a problem with Mike Hussey’s ludicrous batting average. Finally, after a long wait, South Africa have started dragging it back towards being something more sensible.
Hussey now averages 57.11 after 35 Tests, which is still offensive, but not as offensive as hearing the general public give opinions on something, which is the astounding level of offensiveness his batting average was approaching before.
His recent innings against South Africa have been 0, 8, 0, 2, 30, 45 not out, 4 and 0.
Is Mike Hussey ‘all that’? No. Mike Hussey is only ‘part of that’.
‘Give me the runs’, he says. Michael Hussey feasts on dodgy bowling and then he has the runs. At the end of the day, he’s exhausted with it all, but he can still muster a weak smile, because that’s how much he likes having the runs.
You’ve got to make your own fun when it comes to Mike Hussey. Great batsman – a phenomenon even – but not a hugely interesting person really.
We do like him though. You’ve got to like someone who’s so relentlessly single-minded about the simple matter of scoring runs in every form of cricket. It shows a certain devotion to his craft.
But can he justify that ludicrous Test batting average of his (68.38 at present)? Well, yes he can. He’s scored all those runs and he hasn’t got out much. That’s the way averages work. You can’t really argue that they’re unjustified.
Mike Hussey has played 25 Tests now, which we think is sufficient to form a proper opinion on his worth. He’s scored a hundred against every side he’s played. You keep wanting him to have a bad run, to bring that average down, but he keeps on hitting hundreds. It’s very, VERY impressive.
What? You didn’t think we’d come up with something like that and only use it the once. No way. Statistically aberrant and statistically abhorrent – it’s got a rhythm to it AND it makes sense. At least it does so far. When you’ve read it for the 500th time, all meaning will have long since evaporated.
Mike Hussey’s on 101 not out against Sri Lanka, which means he’s currently averaging 87.19 in Test cricket. Incidentally, that average isn’t ‘Bradmanesque’ as so many people seem to be saying, because it’s 12 runs below The Don’s mark. In terms of batting average, 12 runs can be the difference between being an all-time great and getting dropped.
We’re thinking of the difference between 38 and 50 there, obviously, but it’s still a mark of just how good The Don was, as if we need it spelling out any clearer.
Anyway, Mike Hussey’s in no danger of getting dropped. There’s a few not outs and the majority of matches have been at home, but the fact is that he’s scored 1,831 runs in 28 innings, hitting seven hundreds and eight fifties. Could you do that?
Will anyone ever start a Test career as successfully as Mike Hussey has? Er, well maybe Phil Jaques will. He hit 150 to keep his Brisbane hundred company.
Yes, they stand on the beach, hurling a boomerang round a bemused kangaroo with Men At Work blaring out in the background, all the while continually telling you how rubbish everything is in England.
No, it’s the other thing, grinding cricket opponents into miserable submission.
242-3 overnight becomes 551-4 declared with all the long, insufferable predictability of a typical day at work. ‘Maybe if we could get Mike Hussey or Michael Clarke out we could have some success against the new batsman,’ you think. But you NEVER get them out, so you just end up thinking that all day.
Actually, Mike Hussey was eventually out, but all this means is that Andrew Symonds comes in and wallops a quick fifty with a big goofy grin on his face.
Then you have to bat and you’re so deflated after nigh-on two days with barely a wicket that you just can’t concentrate. So even ordinarily-profligate Brett Lee can wind up with figures of 2-4 off five overs.
It’s no fun playing against Australia. We’re not even sure it’s that much fun playing FOR Australia. You’re winning, but it’s almost drudgery.