Squaring series would be boost to Australia: Hussey

Updated: Jan 01, 2011, 13:17 PM IST

Sydney: Winning next week`s final Test to square the Ashes series with England would be a boost for the demoralised Australians, senior batsman Mike Hussey said today.

Australian cricket plunged to the depths of despair after England pummelled the national side by an innings and 157 runs in this week`s fourth Melbourne Test to retain the Ashes.

Australia, trailing 2-1, can still draw the five-match series if they can fight back and win Monday`s fifth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground under new skipper Michael Clarke, who replaces injured Ricky Ponting.

Hussey said the task of regeneration now lay ahead for a dressing room unsettled by numerous team changes.

"(We need) to try to start the rise again, getting back to where we want to be -- getting a team together we believe in and sticking with them and hoping to build our way back up," Hussey told reporters.

"We`d like to be number one in the world, it`s going to take time, but it can start now."

With the Ashes gone, Hussey said he was doubtful if a series-levelling victory in Sydney would totally erase the shame of their huge defeat at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"I don`t know about saving face, but we do feel it`ll be great and a real moral victory for us if we can get it back to two-all," Hussey said.

"That would give the guys a great feeling, and a lot of confidence going into the next year.”

"But it hurts a lot, because we came in with such high expectations and belief that we could win the Ashes."

Hussey has witnessed a great deal of change during the series, from the exit of Marcus North and off-spinner Nathan Hauritz, to the spinning experiments with Xavier Doherty and Michael Beer and now the introduction of batsman Usman Khawaja.

Hussey said it was time for greater continuity in team selections.

"It does take time to build a really good team," he said.

"I think when we find the right guys it`s important we show a lot of belief and faith in them, stick with them for a period of time.”

"That`s how team spirit really builds and the team can improve over a period of time."

Bureau Report