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Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - David Hussey is born - the Hussey who fell tantalizingly short of a Baggy Green

Australia's David Hussey
Australia's David Hussey
©Reuters

July 15, 1977 - The flip side of David Hussey's brilliant performances in T20s was that he was pigeonholed as a white-ball specialist and despite being a prolific run-scorer in First-class and List A cricket, never got picked in Australia's Test team.

 

David Hussey's name may not be taken among the legends of his generation but he has contributed enough to the game to be remembered for a long time.

The fact is that the competition in elite cricket is so much that to make the first XI in even First-class cricket in countries like Australia, England and India requires you to be a serious cricketer.

But if you go on to play almost 200 First-class matches, scoring around 15,000 runs and then graduate to international cricket where you have a run for 5 years with 69 ODI and 39 T20I caps to your name, you are obviously more talented than most others.

Two years younger than Mr Cricket Mike Hussey, David Hussey made a name for himself with heaps of runs he made for Victoria. In fact, his average in First-class cricket of 52.26 is marginally higher than his elder brother Mike's 52.13.

Hussey had a breakout season in Sheffield Shield cricket when he scored over 1,000 runs in 2007-08 and was chosen for the ODI series against West Indies in 2008. He made his ODI debut in the series having earlier appeared in a T20I against India in February the same year.

David scored half-centuries in both of his first two ODIs and brought up his top score of 111 against Scotland in 2009. Hussey played his last ODI match against Sri Lanka in 2013. His best performances for the country came in the T20I format in which he averaged 22.90 with the bat and 24.63 with the ball.

 

 

Hussey wasn't one of the bowlers who turned the ball a long way but kept a lid on the batsmen with the ability to vary his pace.

Most of his success came in this format, not least when he was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping $6,25,000 - much more than his elder brother Mike Hussey or Ricky Ponting were paid.

Hussey played for Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings in the IPL apart from KKR. He played 13 matches in the inaugural edition of the IPL and scored 319 runs at an average of 29 and strike rate of 123.16.

He had a good run in 2012 and 2013 when he played a total of 28 matches across two seasons. While he had an average of 33 and strike rate of almost 130 in 2012, the figures dipped to 23.50 and 112.44 respectively in the next season. He played his last IPL season with 5 matches in 2014.

"I wanted to play Test cricket desperately. I'm not saying I deserved to get picked. I was more annoyed that the people they were picking at the same time, I was probably outperforming them. That probably irks me the most. (It might be) a rocking chair moment in 10 or 15 years' time, where I might be like 'I wish I had that opportunity'. I wanted to play Test cricket desperately. But I'm very content with what I achieved in the game," David Hussey says of his career.

The flip side of his extraordinary ability in the shortest format of the game built his image of a T20 specialist. This is why despite being a prolific run-scorer in First-class and List A cricket, David Hussey never got a baggy green cap, and that does remain a regret of his. He now coaches Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League. 

 

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