Australia in Bangladesh 2011 April 12, 2011

Watson channelled Gilchrist, says Hussey

Michael Hussey has bracketed the Australia allrounder Shane Watson's murderous 185 not out with the best innings of Adam Gilchrist, and has little doubt Watson is capable of repeating his feat.

Watching from the boundary as Watson crashed a world record 15 sixes, Hussey was reminded of Gilchrist's 149, which included eight sixes, in the 2007 World Cup final against Sri Lanka, considered by many to be the apogee of intimidatory top order batting in limited overs cricket.

"It was pretty phenomenal, consistent hitting really," said Hussey. "I was thinking I hadn't seen consistent hitting like that since probably Gilly in the World Cup final in 2007. It was a phenomenal innings, and he's been able to put together quite a few phenomenal innings really in the last period.

"The 160-odd against England [in January] was a pretty amazing innings as well at the MCG. So his consistency to do it is pretty amazing, but just the strength and power to be able to consistently clear the boundary. There were quite a few that I don't even think he got close to the middle of the bat and they still managed to sail 10 rows back, amazing consistency."

Not every member of the Australian touring party to Bangladesh was able to enjoy the show - tyros Tim Paine and James Pattinson learning that it may be wiser in future to keep watching until Watson has been dismissed. It should be worth their while, as Hussey believes another explosion of big hits is just a matter of time.

"[They] went over to the nets after he'd hit about five sixes and missed about 10 of them, so they were spewing when they came back into the dressing room because they'd missed half his innings," said Hussey. "He's done it before, the 160-odd against England was an amazing innings, but he just seems to be able to raise the bar all the time.

"I reckon he could do it again, once you've done something once it gives you the belief you can actually go on and do it again. I'm sure there's going to be conditions that suit him on a particular day or sometimes you just have your day when things go your way and so he could definitely do it again.

"In the dressing room we were talking about the game against South Africa (in 2006), the 434 game, we actually lost but that game did come up where the conditions were just outstanding and it was sort of like that, it seemed like every second ball was going for four or six. Every now and then you get those sorts of games."

Having wrapped up a series victory with one match to spare, the Australians can reflect with quiet accomplishment on their efforts, though their achievement is minor next to Test tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa from August. Hussey said the establishment of the new leadership dynamic between Michael Clarke, deputy Watson and their former skipper Ricky Ponting had been valuable.

"There's obviously been a big change in the leadership side of things with Ricky stepping down and Clarkey taking over, so I think that's been important really just to get back into cricket after the World Cup and see how that goes," he said. "Everyone was going to be interested to see how the dynamics worked, and from my point of view it's worked really well.

"Ricky's fitted into the team exceptionally well, it's been great for Michael to have Ricky's experience to bounce ideas off as well, but I think Pup's done a really good job as well, in taking over the team. So I think it's been a really worthwhile tour for us."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article