The ball swirled high and an agile 37-year-old judged it to a nicety and caught it just outside the steps leading into the Oval Taverners bar at the P. Sara Oval here on a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon. “That’s not a six man, that’s out,” said the ecstatic fielder.
Michael Hussey had to wait for a long time to earn the ‘Baggy Green’ and those patient days have made him cherish every second on the turf.
His is a journey of excellence that fits in neatly with the tradition of Australian cricket, which was also on view inside the bar featuring a vintage picture from 1948 showing Sir Don Bradman striding in ahead of a match here against Ceylon as Sri Lanka was then known.
“Twenty20 is great fun. It is about challenging yourself with new skills and by being innovative and doing it under pressure. I really enjoy that,” said Hussey while interacting with the media. in the lead-up to Friday’s clash against India.
The big fight: “The game (against India) is very crucial. If we can get to a winning start then it puts us in a good position and gives us a good chance of making it to the semifinal.”
Spin and other turns: “I do suspect that they will bowl a fair bit of spin to us if not just the frontline spinners, may be the part-timers will also bowl at us. Guys like Yuvraj, Raina and Rohit Sharma can bowl a bit. Even Sehwag can bowl. So we have to adapt quickly.”
Countering Harbhajan and Kohli: “He (Harbhajan) is a class act and he is someone that we respect but when you play Twenty20, you got to be aggressive and try and put him under pressure. He did a fantastic job the other night but I think we can play better than the English team. Kohli is obviously at a purple patch but every batsman tends to miss out on some stage and I hope that he is going to miss out (against us).”
Sehwag and the missing runs: “I would never say that Sehwag is out of form. He can miss out a couple of times but we all know that everytime he misses out he is closer to the next big one.”
Mauling Ajmal in the 2010 ICC World T20, a positive memory while countering spin? “Not really. But I do remember it, great day but that’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I don’t think there is any parallel with that situation and the Indian game.”