Mike Hussey is back in contention to bat in the World Cup after earning a call up to Australia’s 15-man squad as a replacement for injured fast bowler Doug Bollinger.
Hussey, who despite being injured was a controversial omission from the initial squad, had been widely tipped as the most likely candidate to join the three-time defending champions in India after selectors delayed naming a replacement immediately following Bollinger’s withdrawal last week.
“Just going is a bit of a dream come true but to actually be there as part of a winning Australian team would be out of this world, so let’s hope,” the 35-year-old lefthander said Monday. “I feel very excited and can’t wait to get over there. I’ve had lots of messages from the boys already so I’m just excited to get over there really.”
Hussey only scored 19 and 11 for Western Australia against Queensland over the weekend in his first domestic first-class match since undergoing hamstring surgery in January.
But he said his playing time gave him confidence his hamstring would be ok for the World Cup.
“The first innings I fielded in the slips for the whole innings so I didn’t really have to test it too much but in the second innings the selectors actually did want me to have a bit of a run around in the field,” Hussey said. “The more I was out and on it the better it felt and the more confidence I got with it.
“Just knowing I can get through the game and know I can go full of confidence with the leg, that gives me a lot of confidence as well.”
Victorian paceman Dirk Nannes will also travel to India as a standby player and to train with the squad, Cricket Australia announced in a statement late on Sunday.
Selection committee chairperson Andrew Hilditch said Hussey, the form batsman during the Australian summer until he injured his hamstring, had recovered his fitness and “is seen as someone who is capable of assisting Australia as we strive to win this tournament.”
“His skill, experience, ability against spin and the fact that he provides a left-hand option in the middle order is seen as critical in our World Cup defense now that he has successfully recovered from injury,” Hilditch said.
Nannes will be on standby in case of any further injuries to the pace attack which contains Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson.
“Dirk will train with the Australian World Cup squad and be fit, available and acclimatised in the event of an injury to a fast bowler, in particular a new-ball fast bowler, in the final stages of this tournament,” Hilditch said. — Sapa-AP
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