Michael Hussey began his 2011 IPL season by wading into Royal Challengers Bangalore's attack in an innings that was reminiscent of his famous assault on Pakistan in the 2010 World Twenty20. Chennai Super Kings flexed their top-order muscle around Hussey's enterprise to power their way to 183, and the lack of Paul Valthaty-esque intent in Bangalore's batting meant they ran out easy winners.
Crouching low at the crease, with feet ready to scramble forward or back depending on the lengths, Hussey preyed on leg-stump offerings with his signature sweeps, pulls and lashes. Eight of his eleven boundaries came through the on side, four of those through square leg. On the rare occasions when the ball was angled across, he slammed powerful cover drives or steered cheekily towards third man. Throughout his effort, he ran like the wind, making a mockery of his age, and the typically oppressive Chennai afternoon.
Bangalore made things easy for Hussey, dropping him twice and fumbling several saves in the field. The first of those drops, by Mohammad Kaif, was the cue for Chennai to shift gears. Vijay looted two fours and a six off Johan van der Wath, before Hussey slammed Tillakaratne Dilshan for consecutive boundaries to ignite Chennai's charge. Hussey then settled into consolidation mode as Vijay and Suresh Raina took on attacking roles. After their dismissals, Hussey seamlessly stepped back into action.
Vettori's exemplary spell was ruined by his last two balls, off which Hussey looted 10 runs to reach his 50 off 42 balls. He proceeded to shred Kohli for fours through square on either side of the wicket as Chennai stepped up the scoring rate. MS Dhoni perished in the hunt for quick runs, but there was no stopping Hussey today.