Melbourne: A couple of risky shots in the first Ashes Test could spell the end of Mike Hussey’s career, who is facing strong competition from Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson and Steve Smith for the middle-order batting spot.
Australia selector Greg Chappell wants to see daring stroke play from Hussey, and has said that this could be the answer for Hussey in his bid to fight his way out of a form slump that has yielded an average of 37 since the start of 2008.
Nicknamed ‘Mr Cricket’, Hussey averages a healthy 49.75 in 54 matches, but after 20 Tests his average was better than 80, earning comparisons with Don Bradman.
Chappell said all players start to battle mental baggage as form issues start to threaten their careers.
"Sometimes a bit of youthful exuberance is the greatest asset that you can have because you don’t know what can go wrong," said Chappell.
"As you get older, the difficulty is that you are aware of the things that can go wrong and you’re aware of how hard it is to make runs at that level consistently. Before you have all that experience, you tend to go out and you can play with a little bit more freedom.
"The difficulty as you get older is that freedom is a little bit harder to find. The only way you can achieve is to get into the same state of mind that you were in as a younger player. That’s the hardest part of being an older player, having that freedom to go out and take some risks," Chappell said.
"You’ve got to risk getting out to score runs and that’s the hardest thing to do. We all become more conservative. I haven’t seen anyone who hasn’t suffered from that," he said.