Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 2nd day November 26, 2010

Second new ball will be 'really challenging' - Hussey


Michael Hussey believes his interrupted rescue act with Brad Haddin needs to double if they are to earn a dominant position in the opening Ashes Test. Australia will start the third day 40 runs behind England's first-innings 260 after Hussey and Haddin lifted the side with a partnership of 77.

The hosts were 5 for 143 when the pair joined forces after Steven Finn and James Anderson had held up the hosts following an opening stand of 78. Hussey (81) and Haddin (22) provided some comfort for Australia but are now headed for the most important part of the match.

"We had to battle pretty hard throughout that partnership," Hussey said. "We managed to get a good partnership but it's probably not even half what we require, we've got some really hard work to do tomorrow morning. The second new ball is going to be a really challenging time in the game."

England were about to take it when bad light stopped play 17 overs early, but they gained a slight boost when the groundsmen were slow to cover the pitch when a shower arrived. "The game is interestingly poised, it's pretty tight, probably 50-50 at the moment," Hussey said. "The first hour or two is going to be interesting to see what happens. It might be the pivotal point of the match."

Finn said England were happy with their results on a pitch that is still providing some help to the bowlers, and contributing to regular shifts in momentum. "That's been the nature of the game so far," he said. "It's ebbed and flowed, and I'm sure it will tomorrow."

This is Finn's first Ashes Test and the 21-year-old had an encouraging day. He collected the wickets of Michael Clarke, who edged behind pulling, and Simon Katich. Katich drove firmly back to Finn and he leaned forward for a stunning take just off the ground.

"If you watch me in the mornings, I practise catching low like that all the time," he said. "It's something I try and work on and am conscious of. I need to be able to take catches like that to make myself a better cricketer."

Finn was also punished at times by Hussey, particularly when he was pulling, and finished with 2 for 61 off 15 overs. The Gabba was almost full, but Finn said he wasn't intimidated.

"It was great to get out there and bowl," he said. "I heard the crowd all of yesterday shouting, 35,000 people. To be able to play in front of 35,000 today was great. I'm used to playing championship cricket in front of 20 people. To have so many people watching has been fantastic. I'm loving it at the moment."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • N on November 26, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    I actually expect Haddin to really enjoy the new ball. Expect him to come out and crack some off/cover drives if anyone overpitches at all.

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2010, 21:53 GMT

    I haven't seen much of this test match due to the start time in the Caribbean(8pm) and WI playing Sri Lanka(12 am). I still think that England will win the series though. To me they have been more consistent over the last year or so. Even with 260 I thought initially that they would give Aus some trouble but with the morning session being so tough, I thought ok they (Eng) are in serious trouble but by the end of the day's play Aus were still behind with 5 wickets left. I think the Eng bowling is slightly stronger especially with Swann and the faster bowlers seem to have more rhythm. Having said Aus will never give up without a battle and so they can beat Eng. Gonna be a hard fought series but I still tip Eng

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    Absolutely cracker series. England impressed with their approach and fasters did so well. good come backs from both teams, well done hussey. Bounce back swann,,, silence critics test cricket at its very best,,, i am loving it

  • Steve on November 26, 2010, 17:38 GMT

    A fascinating match position - with a result that could even decide the Ashes. How nice it is to read comments from 'nuetral' followers and hear how they are appreciating this great contest. Of course we hear the blind ignorance from others too...... It's interesting how many supporters are ready to axe players after one of two failures? Clearly these people don't understand the game that well? Class is permenant whilst form is temporary! If Clark and Ponting share a 200 run partnership and Collingwood gets a ton and takes a couple of blinding catches with a decisive wickets thrown in - will these axemen still want them out? Could happen..... Thank you UA 1985 and cricinfo for giving us this forum.COME ON ENGLAND!

  • Steven on November 26, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    Both teams have had a days batting, ENgland al out for 2660, Australai for 5/200 , not sure why everyone here thinks that England "looked the better team". What does that even mean ?

    Hopefully Huss/Haddin/Johnson push on for a 150 - 200 lead, new ball will be tough

  • Umair on November 26, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    What action?? Phew!! Cant get my eyes off it. I am neither from England nor Australia, just a neutral spectator but boy this is some real quality cricket. Cant think of anything much better in quality, regarding cricket, than the present Ashes series. The World Cup will be a boring affair on the placid tracks after such an exciting Ashes. In my opinion Ashes is the biggest cricketing event in many aspects. England should play Eoin Morgan for next test in place of Collingwood.

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    What this series is clearly showing is what has been thought about but never openly admitted which is the weakness in Australian resistance under pressure due to too many Sheffield Sheild teams. Until the number of teams is reduced by a minimum of two - or preferably even three or preferably four sides then it is simply impossible that domestic cricket in Australia will produce the sort of tough resilient cricketers who can really dig in and force a win in a close match - as recent matches have shown.

  • Rajaram on November 26, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    So all this much -trumpeted pre-Ashes preparation could only get the Poms 260?And all you guys who believe England will win - this is the time for you to bet! The odds are high!

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    without doudt england i say 3 -0 result england see austrilia will not last four in world cup honey moon for AUS is over

  • Aamir on November 26, 2010, 11:10 GMT

    No doubt match is even. Pointing was unlucky today, Finn took blinder to dismiss Katich. Hussey, my favorite player, once again proved his worth. The way he punished Swan was commendable. I would love to see Clarke and North out of Aus XI for next match. Both of them disappointed with their negative attitude during their short stay on crease. Peter Siddle bowled exceptionally well on a damp pitch. Finn bowled on much dry pitch with lots of bounce. Barmy army will soon be quite as Johnson and Siddle are going to test the English Ribs and Skull. Go Ausie..........

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