<
>

Australia aim for 3-0 in Perth, leave talk of 4-0 for later

Mike Hussey leaps in celebration after reaching his hundred Getty Images

The rest of the world has been talking about it ever since India were bowled out for 191 on the first day of the SCG Test, but a 4-0 whitewash isn't being discussed in the Australian change-room just yet, Michael Hussey has said. "We haven't spoken about that at all," Hussey said. "In Sydney we just tried to enjoy that amazing Test match and then, basically, close the door on that one and start afresh.

"We start nil-all again here in Perth. We haven't thought about those results too much, but we're confident. We're playing a good brand of cricket at the moment. We've just got to keep improving a little bit from every game."

Making it 3-nil in Perth is a better goal, though, and a tangible thought at the moment. "That's obviously the goal," Hussey said. "That would be an awesome achievement from the team."

Hussey didn't want to sound overconfident, though. "It's going to be a tough Test match," he said. "India has got some great players, a lot of experience and a lot of pride. I'm expecting them to bounce back quite hard in this Test match."

The last time Hussey came to Perth for a Test match, Australia were down 1-0 in the Ashes. Australia would go on to lose the series, but at his home ground Hussey scored 61 and 116 to help Australia level the rubber. He is happy to be back, and happy that the circumstances are different. "It [that Ashes] feels a fair time ago, but it still hurts when it keeps getting brought up," Hussey said. "It was a tough time last year for the team to go through, for everyone who was involved, but it can make you stronger by going through tough times like that as a team. We're certainly trying to learn the lessons from those tough times, but we're [also] trying to think positively and look forward to the way the team wants to go in the future rather than looking at the negative times.

"We think it [the team] is a work in progress and we think we can improve a fair bit but it's been an enjoyable ride so far. I'm glad I've had the chance to be a part of it so far and I'd like to be part of it in the future too."

Hussey said he was looking forward to perform in front of his home fans. "I love the Perth Test match," he said. "The crowd here give unbelievable support. The roar you get as a local player when you come out to bat or take a catch is 10 times louder than for any other player. We're a very parochial mob over here. I know the conditions extremely well as well, so that's an advantage over other players from around the country and around the world. It is a great place to play cricket. Once you get in on this pitch, it's fantastic for batting."

The last time Australia played India here, they lost. That Test followed a particularly bitter SCG Test, and Hussey feels the controversy might have galvanised the Indian team then. "They came to Perth with a real determination to do well after all the controversy of that [SCG] match. I didn't feel at the time that it affected our team, but maybe it did a bit with all the controversy going on outside of the game.

"And there were some real outstanding performances in that game. It was probably the birth of Ishant Sharma, who bowled unbelievably well in that Test match. I remember a spell to Ricky Ponting, which was just phenomenal bowling and the Indians played a great brand of cricket in that particular Test match and were too good in those five days.

"They are a very proud bunch of cricketers, a very experienced bunch of cricketers, and I'm expecting them to bounce back extremely hard. They will take some confidence out of winning the last Test match between the two sides at this ground. But looking at our camp, we're an extremely determined camp as well, we're trying to go in a direction under Michael Clarke, who's done a great job as captain since he's taken over from Ricky. So we're a very determined bunch of cricketers as well."