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Peter English at Adelaide
December 3, 2010
Michael Hussey is a man of lists and routine but he was forced into an uncomfortable rush as Australia started the second Test by losing three wickets in 13 balls. Hussey, the No.5, walked to the wicket after 11 minutes, having barely had time to get ready before Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke were knocked over.
"I was just rushing to get my gear really," Hussey said. "It was all happening very quickly. I couldn't really believe it to be honest, it was just [a feeling] of shock. Before I blinked I was out there in the middle."
Hussey provided a very steady hand with a vital 93, but even his impressive effort could only get Australia to 245, a total about half of what is appropriate for Adelaide. But all the focus was on the first three overs, which started with Katich's run-out without facing a ball.
"I think that was the first time it's happened in his career, so he was obviously a bit disappointed," Hussey said. "We place a big focus on the first five overs of the day and trying to get the momentum going in our favour. Katto was just disappointed that we got off to such a poor start. He was in shock really, more than anything." Almost two hours after his dismissal Katich was still sitting alone outside the dressing room.
Ponting (0) and Clarke (2) both fell edging James Anderson to second slip and Hussey was suddenly required. "I was actually looking forward to having a nice relax for a few hours and watching the first session," Hussey said. "I have a set routine. Once a wicket falls, I get my shoes and whites on. When two go down, I get my gear on pretty quick. I was upstairs watching, obviously not for very long."
Despite the brutal setbacks, Hussey was pleased with the extent of the recovery. "We probably would have taken 250 after being 3 for 2," he said. "Obviously we'd have liked a fair few more. We're a bit disappointed in the dressing room."
Hussey has moved from being terribly out of form to the side's most productive batsman over the past week. He produced a career-saving 195 in the first Test and was closing on another century when he drove at Graeme Swann and edged to slip.
"It's only two innings," he said of the turnaround. "It doesn't really make a summer or win us the Ashes. I think you probably need a little bit of luck. It's a very fine line with batting and even today I think I nicked one just short of Graeme Swann at second slip. I was also dropped by Jimmy Anderson."
While the score was Australia's smallest first innings since 1992, Hussey said the team remained "pretty upbeat" and were encouraged by some balls staying low. "We know we're going to have to bowl well but we can take a lot of heart that England were bowled out for 260 in the first Test up in Brisbane and came back very strongly," he said. "It doesn't mean we've lost the Test match whatsoever."
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