The Lowdown - David Hussey July 20, 2006

Running in the family

The Lowdown on David Hussey who hit 150 this week against Shane Warne's Hampshire

With so much cricket played these days it is often difficult to keep track of who is who and what they are doing. In this weekly feature Cricinfo will take a look at one player who is making the news, whether at the highest level or as an aspiring talent, and tell you what they are all about. This week, it's the turn of David Hussey who, despite being the less well-known of the Hussey brothers, is still a run machine in county cricket.



David Hussey has churned out a mountain of runs for Nottinghamshire since 2004 © Getty Images
Australian cricket has a history of being a family affair. The Chappells and the Waughs are the most famous, but there have also been the Benauds and the Lees. There is still time for another combination to leave its mark and one half is already well on the way. Mike Hussey took international cricket by storm last year and is now a fixture in the Test and one-day team; his brother David, however, is still trying to make the breakthrough.

Age is not on David's side - he has just turned 29 - but then Australian batsmen tend to be late developers. Michael Clarke is an exception - and he has now gone through a slump - but Mike only won his Baggy Green after turning 30 and is two years older. The Hussey's are used to waiting their turn. David's first-class debut didn't come until 2003 after spending the early stages of his career in Western Australia.

Like many an Australian before him, David has taken the well-trodden path of county cricket and in well-trodden style has filled his boots for Nottinghamshire since 2004. The problem for him, however, is that prolific seasons in England have been followed by average displays back in the Pura Cup. He had a brief flirtation with Australia A in 2005, but has never quite done enough to force his way back in. While Australia's brigade of next-in-line batting talent is being paraded around Darwin and Cairns, Hussey is on the outer and trying to keep the selectors interested on the county circuit.

His start to the 2006 domestic season at Trent Bridge was unimpressive, his form being symptomatic of Nottinghamshire's shocking start to their Championship defence. However, 107 against Warwickshire was followed by an unbeaten 150 against Hampshire to rejuvenate his season. The match against title contenders, Hampshire, threw up an intriguing battle with his Victorian team-mate Shane Warne.

Neither gave an inch, but Hussey came out on top and Warne was left quietly stewing. There is only one way a batsman can force their way into the Australian team - shear weight of runs - and there is plenty of competition. But Hussey only has to look at his brother to realise that a chance might eventually arrive.



Last season in Australia, Hussey's one-day form was stronger than his Pura Cup record © Getty Images
Timeline

March 1996
Part of the Australian Under-19 squad against New Zealand which also included Brad Haddin and Nathan Bracken

May 2001
Plays for the Sussex Cricket Board in the C&G Trophy

February 2003
Makes first-class debut for Victoria against New South Wales

January 2004
Hits 212 not out against New South Wales as Victoria chase down a record 455

January 2005
Selected to play for Australia A against West Indies and Pakistan and makes 128 against West Indies at Hobart

April-September 2005
Racks up 1231 runs in Nottinghamshire's Championship winning season, including a career-best, unbeaten 232 against Warwickshire

March 2006
Named Victoria's one-day player of the season after reaching 535 runs at 76 in the ING Cup

Current form
After a slow start he is now averaging 41 in the Championship, following his centuries against Middlesex and Hampshire either side of the Twenty20, and still has the second half of the season to pile up the runs

What he says - speaking to the Nottinghamshire website
"Coach Mike Newell was always confident in me and said I hadn't become a bad player overnight. I was desperate to turn things around and put in plenty of hard work in the nets. The century against Middlesex was important, because I tried to bat as long as possible and applied myself better through Twenty20 as well."

What they say - Richard Hobson writing in The Times after Hussey's 150 against Hampshire
Hussey and Shane Warne play in the same Victoria team but there was no love lost here. Warne conspicuously failed to applaud any of Hussey's landmarks and offered only a cursory handshake at the end. He simmered throughout, his mood not helped when Nigel Llong ruled that a looping slip catch from Alleyne on 42 did not come off the bat.

What you may not know
Despite being selected for Australia A in 2005, Hussey was dropped from Victoria's Pura Cup and asked to leave the state and return to Western Australia. However, his request was turned down as Victoria had just lost a clutch of players.

Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo