Michael Hussey: Winning in India a huge goal for Australia

Former Chennai Super Kings’ cricketer, Michael Hussey, feels frequent tours to India would one day result in a series win for Australia.

Michael Hussey emphasised on building strong relationships with the players when it comes to mentoring players and recounted his CSK days, where he did so effectively.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

Michael Hussey is a cricketing mind for all ages. A conventional batsman, who took extra-pleasure in doing the hard yards, he got his breakthrough in the ODI set-up before going onto launch an extraordinary Test career filled with stellar batting performances stocked for the archives.

The 42-year-old also had great success with franchise-based T20 tournaments across the world, mentorship, and is now the ‘Director of cricket’ for Big Bash League side, Sydney Thunders.

Hussey was a name which went around when India was looking for a coach to take over from Duncan Fletcher in 2015. Having not put in his name in the hat for an international side, the World Cup winner sounded out that he would be keen on a coaching role with Chennai Super Kings (CSK), his former IPL side, if the opportunity arose.

Currently in India as a commentator for the ongoing Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), Hussey stressed that the one key quality he looks in a youngster for his side was “character first and skill second”.

Hussey also emphasised on building strong relationships with the players when it comes to mentoring players and recounted his days from CSK, where he did it good effect.

Virat Kohli and his men are one series win away from duplicating Australia's feat of most successive Test series win — a team Hussey was an integral part of.

On Kohli's captaincy, the Western Australian drew parallels with his former captain, Ricky Ponting.

“He has got this great will to win. Ricky had this desire. He would push his team as far as he could. He set high standards in training.”

While comparing both the sides — Kohli’s and Ponting’s — Hussey said, “India have obviously found a winning formula. They have a wonderful home record much like we did as well. If you win your home games, you can take that confidence away.”

Recent Australian Test sides to tour India have had rather forgettable memories to take home with. While looking ahead to ODI series scheduled between the two teams in November, Hussey pointed out that much like the Ashes and the World Cup “winning in India is a huge goal for the Australian team” and was hopeful that the frequent tours to India would one day result in a series win.

On Dhoni

Having shared success under the captaincy of M. S. Dhoni at CSK, the southpaw believes that the Indian wicketkeeper has earned the right to go out on his own terms.

“M. S. is an honest man. If he thinks he cannot contribute to the Indian team and help India win the World Cup (2019 in England), I don't think he will be there,” said Hussey.

Words of wisdom for Stoneman

Hussey got his Test bow at the age of 30 as an opener and went on to cement his place as a batting great over a period of seven years. He had warm words for England's Mark Stoneman, who is set to receive a similar Test calling in the upcoming day/night Test against West Indies next week.

“There will be different thoughts going in your mind. But the bonus of being 30 is having a long time to learn his game. When things get tough he knows what he will need to stick to,” said Hussey.