<
>

Hussey ready for his 'dream come true'

Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey wait for their stint in the nets Getty Images

Michael Hussey has said that his fortuitous call-up to the World Cup squad was a "dream come true" and is confident that his hamstring will withstand the rigours of one-day cricket as Australia pursue their fourth consecutive title. Dirk Nannes, on the other hand, who is travelling to the subcontinent as a standby player, is unsure of his role but wants to make the most of his opportunity.

"Just going is a bit of a dream come true, but to actually be there as part of a winning Australian team would be out of this world, so let's hope," Hussey told reporters in Perth. "I've had lots of messages from the boys already so I'm just excited to get over there really."

Hussey was informed of his selection during the tea break of the Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and Queensland at the WACA on Sunday. He had been part of the initial World Cup squad, but was replaced by Callum Ferguson before the tournament began after sustaining a hamstring injury that needed surgery. Hussey's opportunity arose when Doug Bollinger was injured in India.

Hussey scored only 19 and 11 against Queensland but he said the time spent on the field had given him confidence. "The first innings I fielded in the slips for the whole innings so I didn't really have to test it [hamstring] too much but in the second innings the selectors actually did want me to have a bit of a run around in the field," Hussey said. "So I spoke to Northy [Marcus North] and said 'do you mind if I have a run in the outfield? And the more I was out and on it the better it felt and the more confidence I got with it.

"It would have been nice to score more runs, but just to be out there playing the game you love again is what it's all about. Just knowing I can get through the game and know I can go full of confidence with the leg, that gives me a lot of confidence as well."

Australia have made a strong start to the World Cup, winning their first two matches before their game against Sri Lanka was washed out in Colombo. "We've got to be a great chance," Hussey said. "A confident Australian team is always very hard to beat so hopefully we can keep building that confidence and be right there at the business end of the tournament."

While Hussey is likely to slot in the middle order straightaway, Nannes will not be available for selection unless another player in Australia's squad gets injured. Nannes said he was surprised to get the call from the selectors. "It's certainly unexpected, I was just having fun on the farm on the weekend and got the phone call," Nannes said in Melbourne. "I'm rapt to be going over, I'm not really sure what sort of role I'm going to play.

"Relying on any injuries is not the best situation to be in, I guess, but at least I've been given some sort of opportunity. I'm excited about what may be, I will prepare myself to carry bags well and make good drinks, that's about all I can do.

"I was a bit miffed earlier in the year when I wasn't in the Twenty20 squad and I was a bit miffed, I guess, not being in the original [World Cup] 30," he said. "I guess that's the lot of a cricketer, you have selection problems and then the highs that come with it, that's just part of being a sportsman. I've never been part of the one-day setup and the way that operates, I've never been under Ricky Ponting, so it will be massively beneficial to my cricket."