Hussey has a big role to play in World Cup: Clarke

Last Updated: Mar 09, 2011, 18:06 PM IST

Bangalore: Describing Michael Hussey as a match winner, Australia vice captain Michael Clarke on Wednesday said the left-handed batsman has a huge to role play in their World Cup title defence.

Hussey was earlier ignored by the selectors due to an injury but later drafted the southpaw into the squad in place of pace man Doug Bollinger, who was ruled out of the tournament due to injury.

"Hussey brings in a lot into the team, lot of experience in these conditions. His career in all forms of game is as good as anybody else. His record is unbelievable in One-day cricket and has been successful in sub continent as well. He will surely play a big part in the rest of the World Cup," Clarke said.

"In the past he has shown us, he can go out and win games on his own in any form of the game. So I am very confident that having Hussey around is going to help us," he added.

Australia take on minnows Kenya here at M Chinnaswamy stadium on Sunday and Clarke, who scored his century on his Test debut here, said the good memories at the venue would help him do well again.

"I think experience surely helps, it’s been a great ground to play cricket whether it’s One Day cricket of Test cricket. Hopefully I can continue to play well. I do enjoy coming back here, as there are a couple of memories of me and my family in the change room when I scored my first Test ton. It`s a very special ground for me, hopefully I will get a chance against Kenya and I hope to score some runs," he said.

Australia is yet to lose a match in the World Cup since final in 1999 in England but Clarke said an upset can happen anytime.

"This side is playing pretty good cricket and we definitely need to get better and now we have got this opportunity to relax for some days and this is going to be really important. We are happy with the way we have been playing but it is a long way to go in the tournament. We have seen a couple of upsets in the tournament," he said.

Clarke reasoned that all teams including some Associate nations have done well at this edition, so they do not want o sit on past laurels.

"I think there is lot of talent at this World Cup. The Irish team played some unbelievable cricket. So I think you have to be at your best in every game. We have plenty of time to get your preparations in the tournament.”

"We certainly won’t be taking Canada or Kenya lightly. Obviously very disappointing for Pakistan and New Zealand have got a lot of talent and Ross Taylor played a fantastic innings for them last night. Now there are too many teams pushing for the top four slots and even for one and two positions so we have to make sure they come out and give our best in the next few days," he said.

The vice captain said the washed out game against Sri Lanka and long gap between the matches has not affected the momentum of the side.

"I don`t think so. We have got lot of time to train, we have got plenty balls bowled at the nets. I don`t think that should change anything. I don`t think the gaps in between the game are going to affect in anyway. It`s a chance for players to get their body right for the next game coming up."

Asked if Indians are still favourites, he said, "As I told earlier, India are still the favourites because they are playing games in their home conditions, I think they have got a very strong squad. Indian playing at home is always favourites."

PTI