Michael Hussey, the Mumbai Indians opener, has said he has clicked with Lendl Simmons at the top of the order, and considers theirs to be a "good partnership" with "good communication". Hussey's comments came after Mumbai Indians eased to a nine-wicket win against Southern Express in the Champions League T20 qualifier on Sunday, with the openers 139 in a chase of 162.
The opening slots have always been an issue for Mumbai Indians, with several openers being tested across IPLs with varying degrees of success but never too much. Now, Hussey said, he hopes to get a few more chances to strut his stuff with Simmons.
"It is up to the think tank. But I feel we have a good partnership going," Hussey told clt20.com. "We have a good rapport with each other in the middle and we have had some good partnerships together.
"[Against Express] we pretty much played our own games. Lendl is a naturally aggressive sort of player and then I just try and float in between. We talked a lot out there. There was good communication. We sort of picked our bowlers, when we could go [after a certain bowler] and when we could just give the strike to the other player. It [the roles] changed throughout the partnership."
With Mumbai Indians having lost their first qualifier and having needed to win the Express game to stay in the competition, both he and Simmons' first priority in the chase was to get set in testing conditions, Hussey said. "Early on it was survival mode really. The ball was swinging and seaming around a little bit. But, we needed a partnership at the top and Lendl batted beautifully and we had got a good partnership going. We knew that if we could get through that initial period then it would get a bit easier."
Keeping in mind the tournament-situation, the pair did begin to think of the net run rate as victory drew nearer, Hussey said. "Probably when we needed about 40 runs off about 40 balls, that's when we sort of said 'let's keep going hard' because the run rate might come into play at the end of the day."
While he was pleased with the win, Hussey reiterated that losing regular captain Rohit Sharma to injury for the entirety of the Champions League was a big blow for Mumbai Indians. "Losing Rohit is a huge loss. He is such a class player and he was our captain. So it's a huge hole to fill."