VB Series, 2003-04 January 30, 2004

'It was a surreal feeling'

Wisden Cricinfo staff

After nine seasons, the phone finally rang for Michael Hussey
© Getty Images

After a cracked rib ended Michael Bevan's tournament, Trevor Hohns, head of the Australian selectors, gave Michael Hussey a ring at about seven o' clock last night to tell him he was in the international team. Hussey wasn't expecting it.

"I was pretty shocked really. It was a surreal feeling. He [Hohns] said I was in to replace Bevan for this game. It is a strange feeling really. It is something you obviously dream about as a kid. For all your life you are hoping you get the call. And then when it does finally come, it is a bit of a bizarre feeling. I was hoping and praying that I wouldn't wake up to find out it was all a dream."

He realised it wasn't, and spoke about his intended approach to the game on Sunday. "I think I will feel a bit nervous. It is great that it is at the WACA in front of my home crowd and my family and friends will all be able to be there. So I have plenty of support in that respect. I am just going to go and try and enjoy the whole experience.

Hussey has been a prolific middle-order batsman for Western Australia, scoring over 12,000 runs in nine seasons. And with more than 5000 in 146 one-day games, with eight hundreds and 39 fifties, he has been one of the most consistent batsmen in Australia. Though he comes in for Bevan in the middle-order, and serves the same purpose, he hasn't modelled himself on the man he's replacing.

"I haven't really molded myself on him. But we do play a similar role. I guess that they wanted a like for like player. The main thing is to score runs. Quite often you come in with four or five overs to go, and you pretty much have to slog from ball one. That is the great thing about batting in the middle order, you get so many different challenges, and you have just got to try and cope with them as best as you can."

Though the tour of Sri Lanka was imminent, Hussey preferred to concentrate on the job at hand. "I am really just trying to get my head around this game on Sunday. After Sunday I can sit down and see where they are going and if they want to have a chat to me I don't know. I will go to Sri Lanka if they need me.

"I am going to try and concentrate on scoring as many runs as I can, and whatever will happen will happen. I hope that it is not the one and only experience, I am sure the selectors will keep me in the forefront of their minds over the next few years. Hopefully there will be more opportunities as well."

Michael Hussey was speaking with David Bebb