As the World Cup approaches, Third Umpire will be selecting a ODI World 11, with one player featuring every day. We continue with our number six, Australia's Mr Cricket.
Mike Hussey was 30 by the time he was a regular in the Australian side but, ever since, he has been amassing runs at such a rate that it has been near impossible not to mention the word ‘Bradmanesque’. After 16 Tests, he is averaging 80 with the bat; in 61 ODIs, he is averaging 67 – no one who has played so many games has averaged within even 10 of Hussey.
Hussey is one of many high-class ‘finishers’ in the Australian side – Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds being the others – but he is patently the best. Despite generally being seen as an accumulator rather than an aggressor, Hussey has a phenomenal strike rate of 91, testament to his ability to clear the boundary during the latter stages of innings, especially on the leg-side.
Hussey has the most phlegmatic of temperaments and is extraordinarily adaptable. When his brief is to rebuild rather than attack, he is able to score off virtually every ball, such is his array of shots, ability to pick the gaps and lightning fast running between the wickets. No side has yet been able to uncover any semblance of a weakness.