The Ashes 2010-11 November 3, 2010

Arthur backs Hussey's experience

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mickey Arthur, Mike Hussey's coach at Western Australia, has backed the under-fire middle-order batsman and is adamant that "Australia would be wrong if they didn't pick Hussey."

Hussey battled his way back to some sort of form with a gritty, unbeaten 71 that stitched Australia's middle order together in the first one-dayer against Sri Lanka at Melbourne. Though it was not the prettiest of knocks, it may help quieten questions over his worth in the Test side ahead of the Ashes.

Hussey, 35, has scored just two Test centuries in the past 18 months and, most recently, had two indifferent series against Pakistan in England and India in India. Hoping for some first-class practice ahead of the first Test at Brisbane, he played in WA's Sheffield Shield match against South Australia last week but was out first ball in the first innings and managed just three runs second time round.

But Arthur, formerly South Africa's coach, believes Hussey's experience could prove crucial as Australia seek to regain the Ashes. "He has a wealth of experience," said Arthur. "You need your experienced players in a Test match against England and the first Test match of a series, it's really important."

"I guess you're always a little bit down if you don't score any runs but he's been fine. We did a bit of work and he's hitting the ball exceptionally well. Technically, there's nothing wrong with him. Mike will be fine and I expect him to play in that first Test match. He just needs a hit-out somewhere and he'll get that in the one-dayers and he'll be fine."