With his Test slump continuing unabated, Australian batsman Michael Hussey is no longer ‘Mr.
Cricket’ and has become ‘Mr Average’, say former greats Mark Waugh and Dean Jones.
Waugh and Jones believe that Hussey’s position in the team is seriously under threat.
Hussey’s Ashes average of 25.83 has been a disappointment and continues a decline over the past two seasons. His overall Test average is a mighty 52.39, but this year it sits at 27.84 from eight Tests.
Compared with 2007’s average of 74.80 and his first two years in the Test team (85 in 2005 and 80.41 in 2006), the numbers are alarming.
“He has got an excellent record, he has been a top player for quite a while. In the last year his average hasn’t been great, way below what his Test average is. We know he’s a good player, but everyone needs runs. No one has a God-given right to be in the team,” Waugh said.
“(Selectors) have probably been a bit lenient on him because he has such a good record. It has come to the stage where he will need to score shortly. If he doesn’t make a big score next Test, selectors will be looking at making the change,” he was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
Jones felt Hussey was putting himself under too much pressure. “He is seriously in trouble. He has not scored a century in his last 27 Test innings. I think he’s got too careful. He is putting way too much pressure on himself. He is trying to protect his average, instead of concentrating on how he got the average in the first place,” Jones said.
“The number one mistake for batsmen is not watching the length of the ball properly, not going forward to the fuller delivery and not stepping backwards for the short ball. He is getting caught on the crease,” Jones added.
“He is getting out too many times on the pads. And he is vulnerable early in his innings, for some reason, where he never used to be. He has just got to work his way through it.
“He needs a big score in the fifth Test. People always remember the fifth game; they don’t remember the first four. People always remember the last half of your career, not your first,” Jones said of Hussey, whose last Test ton (146) was in October last year against India in Bangalore.