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World Cup 2011

Michael Hussey called up for World Cup

Brydon Coverdale

March 6, 2011

Comments: 118 | Text size: A | A

Michael Hussey plays the pull, India v Australia, 2nd ODI, Visakhapatnam, October 20, 2010
Michael Hussey's back after recovering from a hamstring injury © AFP

Michael Hussey's World Cup dream has been realised after the selectors named him as the replacement player for the injured Doug Bollinger. However, they have decided to cover all their bases by flying Dirk Nannes to India to train with the squad as a standby player, in case of an unexpected injury or illness in their bowling stocks.

The decision means Hussey will be a full member of the squad and is available for Australia's next match, against Kenya in Bangalore on Saturday. His presence should bolster Australia's strength against spin, although the next question is who they would leave out of the starting XI to accommodate Hussey, with Cameron White and David Hussey both facing a fight to retain their positions.

Hussey was originally named in the 15-man squad but was withdrawn before the team flew out, as he had not yet recovered from a serious hamstring injury that required surgery. But Hussey made his comeback for Western Australia this week in a Sheffield Shield match at the WACA, where he made 19 and 11 but more importantly got through the match unscathed. The door opened for his return to the World Cup squad when Bollinger was sent home due to an ankle injury.

"Michael has successfully recovered from major hamstring surgery and is seen as someone who is capable of assisting Australia as we strive to win this tournament," the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said. "His skill, experience, ability against spin and the fact that he provides a left-hand option in the middle order is seen as critical in our World Cup defence now that he has successfully recovered from injury."

The addition of Nannes to the touring group was more of a surprise, although he will not be an official member of the squad and won't be able to play unless another player is ruled out of the tournament. The move is intended to cut down the travel time in case of a mishap in the day or so before a match, which wouldn't allow enough time to rush a bowler from Australia.

"Dirk will train with the Australian World Cup squad and be fit, available and acclimatised in the event of an injury to a fast bowler, in particular a new-ball fast bowler, in the final stages of this tournament," Hilditch said. "Dirk has been in excellent form and played a critical role in Victoria's recent Ryobi Cup victory and will be an excellent replacement bowler in the event of injury to a key opening bowler."

The left-arm fast man Nannes, 34, has been viewed mainly as a Twenty20 specialist by the national selectors, and has played only one ODI, which was against Scotland and was essentially a warm-up for a Twenty20 series. If required, he will keep up the trend of Australia relying on aggressive fast bowlers in the tournament, with Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson the core of the attack, while John Hastings is already with the squad as back-up.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 118 
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Posted by NALINWIJ on (March 9, 2011, 14:01 GMT)

M.Hussey should replace White or D.hussey. Need Smith for spin, fielding and batting depth and he is a better choice for the balance of the side than Hopes. Using Nannes as an emergency player creates a contingency if another paceman was to get injured. It is a pity that Nannes did not choose to play for holland as they could have knocked England out.

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 8, 2011, 5:19 GMT)

that's an excellent news!go aussies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 7, 2011, 15:21 GMT)

Hussey must replace white, they cannot take steven smith out yet

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 7, 2011, 13:18 GMT)

thanks god hussey comes in world cup thats good news for australia.....

Posted by TeamRocker on (March 7, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

Great! Finally some sense shown by Hilditch! By the way, who's Hussey going to replace in the playing 11? His brother? S.Smith? White? I hope White.

Posted by dummy4fb on (March 7, 2011, 8:42 GMT)

Mr. cricket is back! It would've been a pity to have a world cup without him..:)

Posted by Aksh_D on (March 7, 2011, 8:42 GMT)

Yuhhuuuuuu...... Mr. Cricket is bck.... Nw no1 exxcpt India ca defeat d Aussies !!!!

Posted by RJHB on (March 7, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

Go the Huss! White's the odd man out, he can hit but he's in terrible form. We need Krejza cos there ain't no one else!

Posted by hotcric01 on (March 7, 2011, 7:44 GMT)

Hussey is a one of my favourite player.Now australia are very strong and for sure,they will make the semifinal.Hussey should be repaced to his brother david. Because smith and watson can do the part time bowling very well. *M.Hussey is a real game changer.He can help aussie to defend the title!*

Posted by _Australian_ on (March 7, 2011, 7:23 GMT)

Finally! Something smart being done by the selectors. The only risk in picking Hussey was if we got a bowling injury and by sending Nannes as well covers this. Frankly I think he should come straight in to the side at the expense of White. @landl47 I can't agree with your statement that Hussey does not make Australia stronger. He is a match winner and capable of playing whatever innings is required. Similar to the job Morgan plays for England who they are badly missing. Both those players did nothing in the recent ODI series in Oz but that does not mean they are no good.

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Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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