Hussey looms as vital to Australia’s draw hopes

Adelaide: Mike Hussey is relishing his chance to help Australia stave off dominant England and bat out to a draw in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.

Australia’s in-form batsman was unbeaten on 44 and his team’s main hope of salvaging a draw after the shattering loss of vice-captain Michael Clarke for 80 in today’s last over.

Hussey, who scored 195 in last week’s Brisbane Test, averages 166 so far in the series after his team place was in jeopardy at one stage, and is suited by the backs-to-the-wall fight Australia face to stop England from going one-up.

Australia are still 137 runs adrift of England and have another day to hang on for a draw.

“I’d be lying if I said I loved it, but it’s certainly rewarding to come in a pressure situation and get your team into a position to win the match or save the match,” Hussey said.

“It gives you a lot of satisfaction. I wish I could come out like (Don) Bradman and smash them everywhere, but unfortunately the game doesn’t work that way.”

Hussey said his batting partner Clarke was distraught to lose his wicket with four balls left in today’s final over after looking as if he had done all the hard work to take a prominent role on the last day.

“He’s pretty distraught at the moment, I don’t think he’s said a word at the moment. He’s very disappointed,” Hussey said.

“It was a real sombre way for us to finish the day because we fought pretty hard and it would have been nice to go in three-down, and it would have really capped off a great day because he played awesome cricket today.

“He played like the Michael Clarke we have loved watching play over the last few years, so it was great for him to play that way, it was just disappointing he couldn’t play through to the end of the day.”

Hussey said Australia faced a tough assignment to deprive England of the win they deserved through their domination over the four days so far.

“We’ve got a lot of hard work to do before we can think about that, but if we can draw the match, England will see it as a loss so that’s got to drive us on,” he said.

“We’ve certainly been outplayed, no question, but if we can get away with 0-0 it will be a great result for us.

“But we’ve got a bit of hard work to do, maybe a bit of luck and hopefully some weather to help us along the way.”

The forecast is for showers and a possible thunderstorm in the afternoon.

Bureau Report