David Hussey: the best to never wear the baggy green?

Anthony D'Arcy Roar Pro

By Anthony D'Arcy, Anthony D'Arcy is a Roar Pro

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    David Hussey's selection continues to be debated. (AAP Image/Ben Macmahon)

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    I had been playing indoor cricket for much of my short life, yet by the age of ten outdoor became the one true form of the sport I loved.

    Being a bowler, I was never particularly fond of the indoor edition’s enthusiasm for giving batsmen as many chances as they wished to continue batting. And a home Ashes series, which would later become a 4-1 demolition of our greatest enemy, seemed a good place to start paying attention.

    But it was around this time my Dad began taking me to Sheffield Shield games for Victoria.

    While most were obsessed with the fame and glory associated with playing for the Australian cricket team, and understandably so, I saw the Bushrangers as being a part of a very, very well kept little secret club.

    Cricketers who could have just as easily been legends for any number of other national teams worked away modestly, known by only a select few. Games were fought fiercely and down to the wire, with four day games actually being four day games. Players sent down to long on were willing to put up with the inane, possibly irritating questions and conversations offered kids such as myself.

    Yet it was only when roughly a year later when David Hussey cemented a spot in the first XI that I knew I was onto something.

    And did he burst onto the scene, or what.

    In only his second season, chasing 455 in the fourth innings against an opposition led by Steve Waugh, Hussey saw Victoria home with a run-a-ball, unbeaten knock of 212.

    Though Waugh was quick to acknowledge the brilliance of what he had just seen, describing Hussey’s efforts as “exceptional”, in the first class cricket arena Hussey would remain for the majority of his career; racking up runs in both Australia and England season to season, continuing to go unnoticed as he regularly averaged over 50 on either side of the world.

    It is not difficult to determine why Hussey is such an incredible player to watch from the stands of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

    Whether it is the searing power with which he can loft cover drives, not unlike his brother, or the ease with which he can grasp the length of a delivery, rock back and slot it behind point or through square leg with bat movement reminiscent of a world-class fencer; you can take your pick.

    Or maybe it is just that, despite all of this, there is still an air of the underdog about the way he plays.

    Unfairly thought of as being in the shadow of his older brother when most were, and equally as unfairly pigeonholed as a limited overs expert, it is now looking next to impossible as Hussey ages for him to be finally given his very own baggy green to sit alongside Mike’s.

    A one day international career, wherein he was rightly or wrongly selected to take over from Michael Bevan as Australia’s go to man in danger, has also seemingly ended in lieu of a desire to find new young talent.

    But the romantic in me, thanks to the selection of workhorse Chris Rogers, has given a glimmer of hope for Hussey’s generation of cricketers.

    So as I sit down to watch the Ashes over our frosty winter and the coming Australian summer, I’ll continue to hold hope that another one of cricket’s underdogs and one of the Bushrangers’ best gets his chance to remind us of what could have been.

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    The Crowd Says (34)

    • June 21st 2013 @ 1:46am
      Johnno said | June 21st 2013 @ 1:46am | ! Report

      David Hussey is right up there, and really should of got a few baggy greens when you think Glen Maxwell, and Shaun Young got 1.

      Dean Hills and Jamie Cox were unlucky, as was Mark Lavender.

      And also the bloke who does channel 9 footy show, and breakfast radio on the MMM’S in Melbourne, man about town, James Brayshaw.

      • June 23rd 2013 @ 5:13pm
        Disco said | June 23rd 2013 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

        Mark Lavender? James Brayshaw?

    • Roar Guru

      June 21st 2013 @ 6:32am
      Tim Holt said | June 21st 2013 @ 6:32am | ! Report

      jamie siddons

      • June 21st 2013 @ 9:44am
        Amith said | June 21st 2013 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        Martin Love could have played more games too, fantastic player.

        • June 21st 2013 @ 11:35am
          AnthonyDArcy said | June 21st 2013 @ 11:35am | ! Report

          You’re right. Jimmy Maher was pretty useful as well, and it’s astounding to think that Darren Lehmann only played 20 or so tests.

          • June 21st 2013 @ 2:56pm
            Praveen said | June 21st 2013 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

            Lehman is my pick

    • June 21st 2013 @ 10:09am
      Bearfax said | June 21st 2013 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      Regrettably David Hussey, like Siddons, Rogers, Hodge, Love etc rose during a period when Australia were well endowed with exceptional batsmen and dominating world cricket. Any one of those players in their prime would be selected in the present test side. Can you imagine the impact of a batting line up like Rogers, Elliott, Siddons, D. Hussey, Hodge and Love. We’d be on top again. But we are now in one of those periods of rebuilding, our future champions yet to blossom. David Hussey could have easily been in this team even today but a form drop over the past 18 months seems to have blocked his last chance. Certainly he has been one of the unluckiest batsmen to have missed what he should have been granted…a baggy green for the Australian test side.

      • June 21st 2013 @ 11:39am
        AnthonyDArcy said | June 21st 2013 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        Well said! Dave did come good a bit towards the end of the shield season, but you’re right. His chances are very slim at best.

        • June 21st 2013 @ 12:16pm
          Bayman said | June 21st 2013 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

          Anthony,

          Huss D. is going to have to get a wriggle on. Talking to him in Adelaide last summer and he said he’s retiring after next season. Hell, if he’d been born 5-8 years later he’s now be vice-captain, at least.

          • June 21st 2013 @ 12:30pm
            AnthonyDArcy said | June 21st 2013 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

            If there’s ever a time to sneak into the batting lineup, I feel like it’s either now or before the summer starts.

      • June 23rd 2013 @ 5:14pm
        Disco said | June 23rd 2013 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

        D Hussey should’ve been picked 2 years ago.

    • June 21st 2013 @ 10:38am
      ChrisB said | June 21st 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report

      Good, but Not the best never. For batsmen it has to be Siddons.
      Plus a while generator of players post WWII went to England to play and issued out. Some greats there.
      My best no test XI
      Sid Carroll
      Jamie Cox
      Jamie Siddons
      Jock Livingston (could also keep)
      David hussey
      Geoff Davies or Ian Brayshaw
      Charlie Walker
      Alan Walker
      John Drennan or Wayne Prior
      Hugh Chilvers or Jack Walsh
      Hugh Massie (badly injured on WWI)
      12th -Cec Pepper

      • June 21st 2013 @ 11:30am
        AnthonyDArcy said | June 21st 2013 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        I would just like to say that my original title did not have anything to do with calling David Hussey the best player to have not gotten a baggy green, and I agree, Jamie Cox was also pretty stiff.

    • June 21st 2013 @ 10:55am
      Johnno said | June 21st 2013 @ 10:55am | ! Report

      Some more

      -Trevor Barsby,Peter Cantrell,Paul Nobes, Steve Small, Richard Chee Quee, Rod Davidson,Murray Goodwin from WA in the 1990’s(he played for Zimbabwe test cricket side, as he was eligible, but he only did that coz he didn’t get picked for Australia but he was very good and had a good test career when playing for ZImababwe), Jimmy Maher, Michael Di Venuto.

      All-Rounder’s: Shane Lee . If Glen Maxwell, Steve Smith, Cameron White, 3 all-rounders of the current generation who wore the baggy green, then surely Shane Lee was.

      Bowlers A few: Greg Rowell, Shane George, David Saker, Phil Alley,Dennis Hickey,Wayne Holdsworth

      Wicket-keepers: Wade Seccombe, Peter Anderson, Mark Atkinson,Ryan Campbell

      Spinners: Adrian Tucker, Craig Howard, David Freedman

      • June 21st 2013 @ 11:42am
        AnthonyDArcy said | June 21st 2013 @ 11:42am | ! Report

        Di Venuto happens to be our new batting coach, so if he can get anything out of our order I’ll be the first to campaign for him to become an honorary test player. You can probably add Chuck Berry to your list of keepers too by the way.

        • June 21st 2013 @ 11:58am
          Johnno said | June 21st 2013 @ 11:58am | ! Report

          Teflon Tim Neilson too lol , was a handy keeper in the 90’s. Darren Berry was very good.

      • June 23rd 2013 @ 5:16pm
        Disco said | June 23rd 2013 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

        Heck, just name every shield player from the early ’90s.

    • June 21st 2013 @ 12:02pm
      Simmo Green said | June 21st 2013 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

      Would have been a shrewd move to have included Hussey in this Ashes squad. His depth of experience, all round skills and mental toughness would have been of immense benefit

      • June 21st 2013 @ 12:20pm
        AnthonyDArcy said | June 21st 2013 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

        Failing to select one of Voges, Bailey or Hussey (who, given the article I’ve just written is obviously my pick of the three) is a pretty big blunder in my opinion. Any of the three would’ve brought leadership and stability to our trainwreck of a middle order and reduced the pressure on Hughes/Khawaja.

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