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June 7, 2009
David Hussey has backed Australia to recover from their Chris Gayle pounding and progress into the Super Eights of the ICC World Twenty20. They were left stunned when Gayle raced to 88 off 50 balls as West Indies sped to a seven-wicket victory at The Oval to leave Australia facing a must-win match against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge.
Hussey admitted the defeat proved deflating for the squad, but he believes the unit will stick together after a difficult few days that also included the departure of Andrew Symonds. "It was a bit down yesterday because we suffered a defeat but I know once we have a team meeting and reassess our goals all the boys will be very very positive. We're a very tight knit group."
Symonds' absence forced Australia to change the structure of their side, although David Warner, the man who would likely have sat out had Symonds been available, top-scored with 63 after two wickets fell in the opening over. However, a total of 169 proved no match for Gayle and Andre Fletcher as Australia's uncomfortable relationship with Twenty20 continued.
"It was highly disappointing but we've got to move on and play Sri Lanka tomorrow afternoon and we've got to win and win well to hopefully stay in the tournament," Hussey said. "Our backs are against the wall and that's what Australians love, being in that situation.
"Once Australian backs are against the wall we generally come out on top and hopefully we put on a good show. It's an opportunity to glide through the tournament like a shark. Come tomorrow afternoon we can put on a show and glide into the Super Eight phase."
Australia will certainly need to find their bite to overcome a Sri Lanka side that includes a bowling attack with Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis. "We know what we have to do to Sri Lanka and hopefully we can come out all guns blazing and win very well," Hussey said. "I think you will see the Australian team coming out and playing very good and aggressive cricket.
"We've got matchwinners throughout the squad so hopefully we can come through and go further in the tournament. In the last tournament we lost to Zimbabwe in the first round and ended up getting through to the semi finals and unfortunately losing to India. Hopefully we can replicate the last tournament and hopefully go one better.''
Australia are in a similar position to England, who must win their game against Pakistan to stay in the tournament. The two sides will go head-to-head in the Ashes once this event is complete, but Hussey knows that both teams would like to see the other eliminated from this event early.
"I know all the Australians will be eagerly watching the television and supporting Pakistanis, similar to the English supporting Sri Lanka tomorrow afternoon"
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.