Mike Hussey, the former Australian batsman, believes Australia’s inexperience in Sri Lankan conditions will be “challenging” to deal with but is confident they can replicate the success of their predecessors five years ago.
Only three of Australia’s 15-man squad have experienced Test cricket in Sri Lanka and eight of their players have never played five-day cricket in the subcontinent. In the past decade, Australia has only won one Test in Asia – against Sri Lanka in Galle five years ago. In that Test, Hussey made 95 in the first innings and overall in the three-match contest he scored 463 runs at 92.6 to be Man of the Series in Australia’s 1-0 triumph.
Speaking to foxsports.com.au on Wednesday (July 20), Hussey believed resoluteness was a major key to success in Sri Lanka. “Like any Test match cricket around the world or even in Australia, you’ve got to be prepared to play, good, hard, uncompromising cricket for long periods of time to win on the subcontinent,” he said. “It’s hot, it’s slow, they’re (the pitches) turning, so you’ve got to be prepared to guts it out and get stuck in for long periods of time. I feel like that (2011) team, we were prepared to do that.”
Hussey, who played 79 Tests from 2005-13, believed Australia would face a baptism of fire because of their inexperience in subcontinent conditions. “It’s going to be a challenge for a lot of the guys and that’s why it’s important they talk to each other and really help each other out as much as possible,” he said. “If you’re left to try and work your way through it yourself, it can be extremely challenging. If you work together as a team, help each other out, ask questions of each other and really work your way through it together, then the team can have a lot of success.”
Hussey was confident Australia could succeed in Sri Lankan conditions. “There’s a lot of class in that Australian team and they’re very proud Australians; proud to be playing Test match cricket and wearing that baggy green cap,” he said. “I think as a batsman at that level you’ve got to be able to change between the different formats of the game and the guys are experienced enough to do that.
“I’m expecting them to make the adjustment to Test match cricket in the subcontinent very, very quickly,” he added. (Courtesy Cric Buzz)