Following the embarrassing 3-0 Test series defeat to Sri Lanka, former Australian cricketer David Hussey claimed that the national selectors should choose players based on the conditions where the matches are going to be played and not necessarily on their current form.
The 39-year-old was reacting to his elder brother Michael Hussey’s statement that there was no need to choose spin specialists for matches in the sub-continent.
“Why not? (choosing spin specialists). I know my brother said we should stick to the tried and true guys we’ve selected,” Hussey told SEN radio. “But I disagree. I think you should pick batsmen who can score runs in the subcontinent, (who have) got good experience there in ‘A’ series and other series gone past, so I’d definitely be picking the better players of spin throughout the country.”
Hussey didn’t shy away from naming a few Australian youngsters whom he believes should be given a chance in the matches ahead considering their pedigree against spin bowling.
“I’m up here in Townsville with the Aussie A team at the moment, and I’ve seen a couple of very good players of spin,” he said.
“There’s Cameron Bancroft from Western Australia, who scored a big hundred in India playing for Australia A (in 2015). There’s also Victoria’s Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis, who are very good players of spin as well. And Travis Head from South Australia is another – they’re all very good players of spin.”
Hussey Cricket Australia has to find a spot for the youngsters in the playing eleven but expressed hope that they would be given the necessary exposure to mingle with the senior teams as he believes that radical changes are required to arrest Australia’s worrying run of results in the subcontinent.
“I’m not saying they should take the whole middle order out, or both opening spots, but (the batsmen he mentioned) should at least be thought about and possibly taken on tour as well. We have to do something – we’ve lost nine matches in a row on the subcontinent now.
“I think time’s up – we have to do something radical. Our batsmen need to figure out a plan to try to score runs or try to stop the good balls hitting our stumps or hitting our pads in order to win games of cricket over there.”
Hussey also feels that even the best players of spin bowling struggle to score in the subcontinent pitches and believes that the only way to counter the threat is to pick players who have the ability and talent to play the ball really late.
“The conditions are foreign to us. I remember playing over there, and I’m regarded as a decent player of spin, and I found it very, very hard,” he offered.
“You see the seam of the ball, lots of revolutions on it, and it goes straight. Then the same ball will turn big time, and you’re at a loss. For me to counteract that it was getting lots and lots of practice in those conditions. You really have to watch the ball as long as you possibly can onto your cricket bat. I like using the analogy of Roger Federer watching the ball all the way onto his racquet.”