By indulging in a spot of impromptu primal scream therapy following his Boxing Day dismissal in Melbourne, Michael Hussey betrayed the frustrations of a dire run of scores. Having yelled to the heavens for a little more good fortune as he marched off the field, Hussey duly received it in the second innings, making a pivotal 89 with the help of a dropped catch and an edge behind that was not detected by the umpires.
That performance, in a partnership of great value with Ricky Ponting, shored up Hussey's place in Australia's immediate plans, after a sequence of innings in which he had been getting out at all the wrong times. As perplexing for Hussey were the ways in which technology had conspired against him. In Hobart he was lbw first ball on referral, then at the MCG he was given out for another golden duck without having recourse to refer due to India's reluctance to employ the DRS.
"I said something like 'give us a break'," Hussey said of his scream. "I just felt like I'd been preparing so well, I felt really good in my mind, I felt like I'd been hitting the ball really well in the last couple of months but I hadn't felt like I'd got any reward for the hard work that I'd been putting in. I was almost just yelling at the cricket gods really to give me a break here, you know? I probably got a bit of a break in the second innings so it's amazing how the game works."
The DRS shall remain a point of conjecture throughout the series, and Hussey maintained Australia's support of it, while offering some reservations about the veracity of ball-tracking technology.
"I'm a fan of the DRS just to give the umpires a helping hand there for one, but also just because we want to get more correct decisions in the match," he said. "I do still think that the technology can be improved, I'm not 100% convinced that there's complete accuracy with the tracking system of the ball. Which is, I believe, one of the reasons the Indians don't want to use it and that's fair enough.
"I'd have to say that I think the umpires did an outstanding job. They've got to make a decision within a split second on what they see and they don't have the benefit of doing the slow-mo replays, having the technology to make their decision. Generally speaking, the umpires down in Melbourne did a great job."
As fortunate as Hussey was at times in the second innings, he also made his own luck by pursuing runs purposefully and aggressively from a position where Australia might easily have been bowled out for their third score of less than 100 within 12 months. Hussey's first 20 balls, the subject of a dressing room placard urging focus at the start of an innings, reaped 23 runs, and India's grip on the second innings slackened greatly thereafter.
"I didn't come out with any pre-conceived idea," Hussey said. "I felt in really good touch in my own mind ... it's just a case of being able to get away with a bit of a start. I was lucky enough to get a ball on my pads to start with and just by getting away early it can sometimes give you that confidence and impetus to continue playing positively.
"They were attacking obviously, because they had us in a lot of trouble. That opened up scoring opportunities for us and enabled Ricky and I to get a little partnership together and quite a positive one. It was really tough. I think Ishant Sharma was bowling up around 150km/h and it's what Test cricket is all about."
From that base Australia built up to one of the team's most satisfying Test victories of 2011, causing Hussey's duties as leader of the team chant to be played out with particular gusto in the middle of the MCG some hours after the win was completed.
"A very, very satisfying innings and partnership with Ricky," Hussey said. "There's no greater feeling to come in with your team under pressure and to be able to get a partnership to where your team can win the match. When you do go on and win the match you can sit back and after that game and really remember such great feelings. That's where you get your respect from your peers, just going out and doing the business in a real pressure situation. Just a fantastic win by the boys."