West Indies in Australia 2009-10 November 10, 2009

Hussey's spot under threat

Cricinfo staff

Allan Border, the former selector, has tipped the opener Phillip Hughes to play in the first Test against the West Indies and has doubts over the future of Michael Hussey. Dean Jones also believes Hussey could be the man to miss out if Michael Clarke, the vice-captain, makes his recovery from a back injury by the end of the month.

"I've got a gut feeling Hughes will play [in the first Test]," Border said on Fox Sports. "He might struggle, Mr Hussey."

Hughes was dropped for the third Test on the Ashes tour but the selectors are keen for him to return to the side as soon as he is making runs for New South Wales. He started the summer with 32 against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield and has another opportunity next week when the Blues host Tasmania.

The situation for Hussey is much different as he tries to recover from a slump that threatened his position over the past year. He finished the Ashes series defeat with 121 at The Oval, his first hundred for 16 Tests, and should face an easier time against West Indies and Pakistan.

However, if Clarke returns Jones expects Hussey to make way. "I love Hussey as a player but I think he is in a whole lot of trouble if Michael Clarke is fit," Jones said. "I know he is scoring a lot of runs in the one-dayers but he was also scoring runs in the one-dayers recently when he wasn't making Test runs and I think they will draw a line through that. It may depend on whether Michael Clarke can play a first-class match before the Test."

Hussey has six half-centuries in his past 18 ODIs and has taken on a greater role in Clarke's absence. Clarke missed the Champions Trophy and the current tour of India, leaving the game against Tasmania as his last chance of a four-day warm-up before the toss at the Gabba on November 26.