Australia in England 2012 June 19, 2012

Hussey still believes in Test call


Should Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey fail to reach the 2013 Ashes, there are another two Australian thirtysomethings, slightly younger, with enormous experience of how to bat in England. At the age of 34, David Hussey has not played a Test and Chris Rogers has played just one, but both have made themselves very much at home on UK surfaces, and are as familiar with Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann as any participant in the past few Ashes encounters.

It would be a move from far left-field by Australia's selectors to entertain the thought of choosing either Rogers or Hussey for 2013, not to mention a strategy more short-term than long. But they remain in the wings, still holding out the faintest hope that their years of finding the right way to play in England might one day prove useful.

Hussey is part of Australia's ODI squad currently training in Leicester, and said he felt a greater chance of playing Test cricket under the current selection panel led by John Inverarity than he ever had in the days of Andrew Hilditch's former regime. "I think the new selection committee is going to select the best players available at any one time. I have not given up hope of playing Test cricket," Hussey said. "If I did not believe I could not play Test cricket I probably would not be playing or probably follow the Twenty20 leagues around the world but that is still a goal for me. Playing Test cricket for your country is still the ultimate.

"I just had a very good one-on-one meeting with the coach and it is probably the most comfortable I have felt in the environment. You always try your best to help your team to as many wins as possible. I actually feel that I have a few credits in the bank now. Hopefully I don't need to use them in the short term."

Since he took over the role of national selector following last year's Argus review recommendations, Inverarity has repeatedly insisted that Test cricket is closed to no-one. Selection discussions have occasionally thrown up more experienced names - Simon Katich's name was mentioned as a potential Test opener against India before the panel settled on Ed Cowan, for instance - and there is a greater desire to select the best and most thoughtful team for the task at hand, rather than hoping for younger players to grow into their roles.

Instead, potential Test batsman are being tried via the avenue of ODIs, meaning Peter Forrest, George Bailey and Steve Smith are the three with the Ashes most firmly in their minds. However none can call on the years of county batting that Hussey and Rogers have accumulated. Hussey made the county grounds of Nottinghamshire and Sussex his own, while Rogers has prospered for Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and now Middlesex.

"I am hoping the Aussie selectors realise that Chris and myself, Phil Hughes is making a lot of runs for Worcester as well, are doing the right things in county cricket and have played a lot of cricket over here as well," Hussey said of Rogers and himself. "Playing county cricket is a big advantage for Chris and myself and hopefully it is looked upon for future series. "I would not have got back in the ODI team last summer if they did not pick on form. I had a really good Big Bash and I think that helped getting back in the one-day team and I thought I may as well grab every opportunity because it might well be the last."

Since his brother Michael's Test debut in 2005, David Hussey has continued to accumulate runs for Victoria at home and a range of county and club sides abroad. He has learned to deal with feeling unwanted at Test match level. Irrespective of his international future, Hussey will do his best as a bulwark of the ODI team on this tour, and pass on as much knowledge to the aforementioned younger batsmen as he can. The bowlers, too, are likely to be offered a few suggestions.

"You always get disappointed when selection comes around," Hussey said. "You sort of sit back and hope you are going to be a on a tour playing for your country. All you have to do is to keep churning out the runs and I was probably at an unfortunate time where Australia had so many good batters.

"[But] I have played a lot of county cricket over here, I think it is seven or eight years and playing all over the country and getting used to the conditions. So it is up to me to pass on some knowledge about wickets especially to our younger bowlers and how to bowl and what bowling I didn't like to face."

21.50pm: This story was amended to correct the fact that Chris Rogers has played one Test

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bob on June 22, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    @ hiclass - I think your analysis of the reasons to select Rogers and D Hussey versus the younger aspirants is excellent. I would just point out in relation to Forrest that his stats, I think, have improved decidedly since his move to Qld, so he could be an improver. I've always thought Bailey's stats have suffered from his responsibilities as Tas capt, and I think S Marsh is an improver (albeit at the age of nearly 30). The other factor that no-one has mentioned is the excellent fielding capabilities of Rogers and D Hussey, and the latter's tidy "nude nuts" offspin. I truly hope that some new talent or one or more of Maddinson, M Marsh, Lynn, Davis, Patterson and Maxwell (as well as Khawaja and Hughes) can stand up and produce in the coming season/s.

  • John on June 21, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    @Rowan OfWin on (June 21 2012, 12:19 PM GMT) - Sorry to be ignorant but are there Australian players called Quick or did you just run out of inspiration for the last 2 names and quick = fast bowler? If so did you not think a WK might be a good player to try and squeeze in there somewhere?

  • John on June 21, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge on (June 19 2012, 18:11 PM GMT) Please don't resort to that cheap sledging. You know that both guys are quality and have played well in the English domestic league

  • Christopher on June 21, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    @Beertjie.Watson has less success down the order than up it.He has just 59 wickets in 35 Tests & is neither a stock nor a strike bowler.He lacks the stamina to play an innings of substance and runs with difficulty,having been involved in far too many run-outs.As Ian Chappell once said,'Sometimes when you choose an all-rounder,you end up a batsman & a bowler short.'His place is in the ODI which seems far better suited to his physiology.There has been far too much emphasis placed on youth.The Shield is & has always been the place for youth to demonstrate long term quality.Australia A and ODI tours are further validation.Youth was once required to battle its way into the Test side by virtue of irresistable performance.The intelligence of this method has always been its encouragement of excellence.Only when compelling cases have been built should they receive opportunity.The cricket equation isn't age,class,technique,style,combinations,heritage-its professionalism runs & wickets over time.

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    1. rogers 2. warner 3. watson 4. clarke 5. ponting 6. hussey 7 hussey 8 hilfenhaus 9 siddle 10 quick 11 quick warner/hussey/clarke is enough spin team would be better wihtout clarke and ponting I feel

  • Mahesh on June 21, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    a few years ago, soon after michael hussey was selected in the test team, steve waugh was talking up the other hussey, saying how highly he regarded david, and that he was certain that david hussey would be a long-term test cricketer for australia. unfortunately, david's prime has been wasted on county cricket. but to be fair, the omission of david hussey is hardly the worst or the only monumental blunder made by hilditch and co during their reign of terror.

  • Mashuq on June 21, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    Well written @hyclass: "Chris Rogers or David Hussey are both complete professionals who have plied their trade around the world,including long stints as County professionals." However Watto is a logical #6. Finding the right 16 is complicated by the tour to India in April. If Hussey were to tour there and not succeed that doesn't imply he should not go to England! Granted that these oldies are serving as stop-gaps, one needs to bring others along as well. The tests against SA and SL would be the place to mix and match youth, experience and current form. However, watching how some of the contenders (A-team as well) go in England during the next few weeks should also be a factor. @BaggyGreen2, no one is trying to retire out Huss & Punter, but no one has a divine right to continue being picked while only performing sporadically. Punter's usefulness in the team has run out no matter how much guidance he can provide to youngsters. Imo, @RandyOZ, one of Hughes/Cowan/Khawaja could tour.

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    @ Gautham Va......I agree with you gautham......If johnson plays in ASHES sure shot england will win very easily........Australia won test series against India because johnson not played........He is an unpredictable player just like ajit agarkar..........

  • ravikant on June 21, 2012, 5:08 GMT

    I agree with user hyclass(thnks for the stats) hussey and rogers deserve the place ahead of march and cowan.

  • Sukwinder on June 20, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    Its amazing that guys like Marcus North, Steven Smith got a run in the team but guys like Brad Hodge, DJ Hussy, Chris Rogers hardly got a sniff!!

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