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Ashes SOS: Coach leaves the door ajar for Hussey

Open invitation: Michael Hussey.

Open invitation: Michael Hussey. Photo: Getty Images

The carrot has been dangled in front of Mike Hussey's face, albeit from halfway around the world.

The 37-year-old, retired, absent and sorely missed from the Australian team since the Sydney Test against Sri Lanka in the first week of January, would be welcomed back into the Test side if he answered an SOS to bat middle-order for the Ashes.

''We'd certainly listen to Mike Hussey if Mike Hussey came knocking at our door,'' said Australian coach Mickey Arthur on Tuesday. Whether the veteran, who remains in good form at domestic level, takes up the offer remains to be seen.

One thing is certain: Hussey's reassuring presence in the Australian batting line-up would be a major lift for a side that has struggled in India to piece together competitive totals.

And given the dearth of experience that has contributed to the internal upheaval within the squad on the subcontinent, an old head would be just the trick in England.

Hussey last week brushed off questioning about whether he would consider coming to the aid of the Australian team in India if asked by captain Michael Clarke. ''[No], I don't think so.''

Whether he could be convinced for a one-off comeback mission in the Ashes, though, will be the source of more intrigue given Arthur's comment on Tuesday.

Certainly, Hussey is still good enough. In his final Test summer, in which he made a shock retirement announcement, he scored three centuries - two against South Africa and one against Sri Lanka - leaving the international arena at the top of his game.

The runscoring continues for Western Australia. In his last two Sheffield Shield matches he peeled off an unbeaten 99 and 96. But he would be 38 by the time the first Test against England begins at Trent Bridge on July 10.

Arthur concedes the beleaguered Australian team dearly misses Hussey and ex-captain Ricky Ponting, but said faith must be retained in the next generation.

''Yeah, we miss him. We miss the aura of Ricky Ponting,'' he said. ''But I'm hoping that these younger players will take over that mantle in time. They're nowhere near ready yet.

''But in time to come they've got to step up and take on those mantles because they're going to be the role models for the next generation of cricketers.

''I'm confident we've got the best players here. These guys just need to be given that confidence and just need to stand up. I'm pretty sure they will.''

Meanwhile, Arthur said Clarke had not given up hope of playing in the fourth Test, starting on Friday, despite suffering from a recurrence of back troubles in Mohali.

''He is in a bit of pain, but with Michael Clarke you never say never,'' he said. ''He will give himself every opportunity to get himself ready for the Test … That will pan out closer to the time and we will give him every opportunity to get up for it because he is such a vital cog in our team.''

7 comments

  • So after Mickey Arthur and Michael Clarke refused to give Mike Hussey the send off he deserved, they now want Hussey to help them out, but only if he comes knocking? That is too funny.

    Clarke and Arthur need to humbly knock on Hussey's door and ask him for help. Hussey is such a nice guy he probably would help, even after the shabby way these two treated him. Clarke and Arthur should look at this as a lesson in in not burning bridges.

    Commenter
    kp
    Location
    brisbane
    Date and time
    March 20, 2013, 10:13AM
    • Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Gilchrist (or Marsh), Walters, Warne, McGrath, Lillee, Thomson. There you go, I've picked an Ashes squad! We can't be beaten with all that talent!

      Commenter
      Harbinger
      Location
      Doom
      Date and time
      March 20, 2013, 11:23AM
      • Sorry, but you've forgotten the Chappell brothers. Even at almost 70 I think Ian would be better value than one or two of our current crop. And I'd have Hussey back in an absolute flash if he was willing (which I doubt)

        Commenter
        Steve R
        Location
        McKinnon, Vic
        Date and time
        March 20, 2013, 12:11PM
      • Point taken, Steve R, I'd accept the Chappells, Craig McDermott, Damien Martyn, David Boon, Merv Hughes and a number of others before most of the current crop. The point is, Hussey has retired (as have all the others I named) so putting him in the Ashes frame is just as ludicrous as asking Richie Benaud to captain them. Hussey probably won't come back after his dreadful treatment at the hands of the current coach and captain.

        Commenter
        Harbinger
        Date and time
        March 20, 2013, 12:51PM
    • So we now need to look to retired players to fill the gap. What does that say about cricket in this country? When Michael Hussey retired he said he would continue to play limited over cricket but in it's wisdom (?) CA didn't give him an opportunity. If I were Hussey and they came knocking on my door I would tell them where they could put their bat and ball!

      Commenter
      Catherine
      Date and time
      March 20, 2013, 12:33PM
      • I hope Hussey comes back and help the team. There are rumours Shane Warne is comtemplating comeback....

        Commenter
        Lala Ingalsby
        Date and time
        March 20, 2013, 1:25PM
        • Hussey let everyone down by retiring prematurely. He is the one who should come crawling back.

          Commenter
          Dorko
          Date and time
          March 20, 2013, 1:47PM
          Comments are now closed

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