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Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day

Hussey confident of Australia fightback

Peter English at the WACA

December 16, 2010

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Mike Hussey once again led Australia's recovery, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day, December 16, 2010
Michael Hussey was full of fight, both at the crease and at the press conference © AFP
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Australia's Ashes situation is so perilous that the hosts will look anywhere for a good omen. After another day of being dominated by England, Michael Hussey peered back four years to the WACA match when Australia wrapped up the urn on the way to a 5-0 cleansweep.

On that occasion the local unit was jammed with world-beating talent and could win from any situation. The current outfit, which was dismissed for 268 after being 4 for 36, has only three players - Hussey, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke - from those all-conquering days and is experiencing the country's worst slump in 25 years.

Despite all the troubles, Hussey remained publicly confident of Australia's chances in the game, which could determine whether England retains the urn. "I don't think it's as below par as some people would think," Hussey said of the score. "I've played in quite a few Test matches here where the first-innings totals have been in the mid-200s.

"Tomorrow will tell the tale if we're below par or not. Even four years ago we were out for a similar total and were able to bowl England out for less than us. It will have to be the same again."

On that occasion Australia were dismissed for 244 and gained a 29-run lead on first innings before running away with the contest with hundreds to Hussey, Clarke and Adam Gilchrist. This time they will rely on a bowling attack with six serious operators but only one spinner after Ponting decided to conscript a pace army.

The tactic might have been more successful if Ponting had won the toss, but instead Andrew Strauss chose to bowl and his men benefited from the bouncy, seaming conditions. The first wicket went to Chris Tremlett (3 for 63) in the second over of the day and by the time Steven Smith was dismissed shortly after lunch the hosts were 5 for 69.

Michael Beer, the left-arm spinner, was not handed a debut in a strange move and Ponting will have to rotate his quicks as Australia desperately chase their first wicket. "The selectors decided to go the fast-bowler option and we just need to back that 100%," Hussey said. "There's certainly enough there for the fast bowlers and it's good we've got a good artillery of them."

England finished at 0 for 28 and had few troubles against Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris. "It was a great last half an hour," Tremlett said. "The guys fought hard to fight off the new ball, which is key, so we'll look to bat time, get a healthy lead, and look to go out and bowl them out again."

Australia have managed only 16 breakthroughs in the series and Hussey is hoping for a quick turnaround. "I'm quietly confident, we've certainly got a pitch that will aid us," he said. "If we can bowl well at both ends and get the ball in the right area there's enough there for us. There's enough grass on the wicket and enough movement off the seam."

Hussey posted a hard-working 61 when the conditions were at their toughest and it continued his impressive streak since he saved his career with a domestic hundred for Western Australia last month. He has 401 runs for the series but is not getting much top-order help. Mitchell Johnson (62) and Brad Haddin (53) were the other major contributors on another troubling day.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by anver777 on (December 17, 2010, 5:11 GMT)

As Hussey expected Aussies are back in this test. they' r applying pressure on Eng on the 2nd day & might all out under Aus score of 268...... nice to see Johnson is also back with good performance with bat & bowl so far........

Posted by funkybluesman on (December 17, 2010, 2:06 GMT)

England haven't been extraordinary here, Australia have just been woeful and really made England look incredibly good.

Basically what we are seeing here is a series between one team that's worked hard on getting the basics right, and one that clearly hasn't.

England batsmen leave the ball outside off stump, Aussie's keep hanging the bats out there and nicking them. England bowlers keep a consistent line and length, Australian bowlers are all over the place. England batsmen have the patience to wait for the bad ball - which is coming frequent because of aforementioned Aussie waywardness, while the Aussies keep getting impatient. England hold onto their catches, Australia drop theirs.

There is no rocket science here, the Aussies are getting out in ways they shouldn't and aren't patient enough and accurate enough with the ball to build any pressure on the English batsmen.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 1:13 GMT)

Mitch 6 for sinks england, will be the heading on cricinfo in 14 hours. Mitcg 2010 Ashes is on. Go for it Ricky.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 0:07 GMT)

Is that 21 or 22 sessions England have won in a row in this series since 27th November?

Posted by 5wombats on (December 16, 2010, 21:50 GMT)

Not that I feel sorry for Hussey - but it's a bit off when you have to carry your teams batting, and then you have to come out and talk cobblers about it. Advice for you Mr Cricket - save your energy for chasing the ball over the next two days - you're going to need it.

Posted by Qureshigm on (December 16, 2010, 20:55 GMT)

I am really amazed on Australia's performance going this much backward... I never thought of Australia's downfall. I hope they get back and get back quickly and back themselves up for new all conquering era that Steve Waugh started and continued by Ricky. I love You Australia... Go Go Go!!!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 20:28 GMT)

I hope England Bats Tomorrow till tea :-)

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 16, 2010, 19:58 GMT)

In 2005 amazingly every England player was playing brilliantly to beat a great Australian team. This time around a similar thing happening. Even Collingwood has only failed once but is holding onto blinders. Everyone looks so fit and aggressive. I tell you it is not Australia underperforming. They just can't perform this time around as the great Ghilchrist couldn't in 2005. England would match even if the great Australian team return now. Just see the way Cook bats; it is almost impossible to remove him. I never thought he is a good batsman. It is the second miracle series for England.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 19:25 GMT)

This match n series is not over!!! Once ponting get runs Team will lift the tempo as well

Posted by Razor88 on (December 16, 2010, 17:26 GMT)

As i have told already,Only watson,hussey and Haddin Deserves a top order spot in this team,Ponting and clarke should do themselves a favor by getting dropped.This is bad for once the Dominant team.I hate Ponting so much,that i'm enjoying this downfall.All i can do is pity on Hussey ,who are one of my fav players!!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 15:40 GMT)

Wishful thinking by Mr Cricket-it would be possible if they had McGrath,Lee,Warne etc in their attack instead of this bunch of pie throwers.

Posted by Snick_To_Backward_Point on (December 16, 2010, 13:51 GMT)

Hussey seems to be doing a lot of talking for the team this series. Is it because he's the only player to have stood up? Are the rest too ashamed? Hussey should be chasing miracles not omens!

Posted by ravi_hari on (December 16, 2010, 12:50 GMT)

As expected a great day 1 for England. However, a word of caution. Do not kill the aggressive posture. Continue to attack and you will blunt the Aussie attack. For Aussies I dont think there is anything to loose. They have put in a score on the board and it is for their bowlers and fielders to see that England does not get a good start on the morrow. The Aussie attack is lacking in experience but not in ability. They have to just get a start. Senior pro Jhonson should take the lead and show some aggression. I think Aussies are showing desparation which will lead them to nowhere. It is your turn now Aussies and show what you are made of and what Hussey believes you are. England - just relax and just 3 more days of good cricket and you will on top of the World. Hari Ravi

Posted by Fifthman on (December 16, 2010, 12:44 GMT)

Hussey's whistling in the dark to keep his spirits up, but what else can he do?

If England see off the first hour's play tomorrow, they're in the box seats.

Posted by chiggers on (December 16, 2010, 12:41 GMT)

Here's another straw to clutch at, Mike, if you are into history repeating itself - Smith and Johnson have the same number of letters in their surnames as Warne and McGrath, and Hilfenhaus has the same number of syllables as Gillespie. The bad news is that none of them are actually those players and this isn't four years ago...

Posted by Something_Witty on (December 16, 2010, 12:16 GMT)

There is half a chance, but it will take a ridiculously good bowling performance to dig themselves out of this hole.

Posted by muthu4664 on (December 16, 2010, 12:09 GMT)

Days are gone Mr.Hussey.... It is Few years back & not now..... I don't think Australia can come back in to the match and even series.. toothless bowling attack of Australia not going to Win matches for them.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 12:04 GMT)

Oz bench Strength is exposed and credit goes to selectors, not trying new faces when Aus was dominating worll cricket. I still rememeber thier test and one day team has just one difference that was langer(poor fellow didnt allowed to get his change in one day) and later part Steve Waugh. the same team and combinaiton was applied for atleast 5 yrs or span and only way to make a entry for another player was the retieremetn of some one from existing combo. Oz always boased about thier strong strong structure of domestic cricker but even that had failed to produce a competent player at international level...last i guess is Hussy who debuted at the age of 32......its a good wake up call which has failed to make selector woke up at time remaining for world cup

Posted by boris6491 on (December 16, 2010, 12:04 GMT)

I am an Australian supporter, but it is starting to irritate me how after every day's play (considering that just about every day but for one or two in the first test has gone to England), I see this kind of an article on Cricinfo. 'Hussey confident of fightback', "Watson keeping faith in win', yet we see no action from the Aussies. They are becoming all talk and no action, and that is where England are beating them in my opinion. I was so disappointed with yet another lacklustre performance, they just cannot seem to get it right even on home turf. The top order is the most brittle I have seen in my years watching from positions 1-4. It would take a miraculous turn around from here for Australia to even draw this test. Nobody really looked like threatening despite the life in the wicket this evening and that comes across as a major concern when considering how the English bowlers made us jump all over the place. It's time we see the Aussies walking the talk.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 11:59 GMT)

I totally agree with HUSSEY . but not supporting from ponting,clarke,watson & also bowlers. If they are well play .australia must be fightback. Good luck AUSTRALIA

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