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Veteran Hussey full of enthusiasm
Greg Buckle
19:53 AEST Mon Aug 27 2012

Australia's Mike Hussey is not the type of player who warms to the idea of talking about his value to the team and to the game itself.

Unlike England's Kevin Pietersen, you won't find Hussey saying: "The spectators just love watching me play."

Australia's mid-year ODI series in England, which the tourists lost 4-0 leading to a slide from first to a worst-ever ranking of fourth, came with Hussey back home in Perth on parental leave.

The 37-year-old arrived at the crease last weekend in steamy Sharjah at No.5 with Australia unable to impose themselves against tight bowling from minnow team Afghanistan.

Hussey hit a masterful 49 off 37 balls, after Michael Clarke's side had been struggling at 5-210 with six overs left.

By the time Hussey was dismissed in the final over, Australia were well on their way to a respectable total of 8-272, before bowling Afghanistan out for 206.

"He's an important part of this team. His experience, his knowledge is exceptional," Clarke says.

"He's a senior player. The senior players have to lead from the front."

Hussey says he's feeling refreshed.

"It was great to be back around the team," the West Australian said on Monday on the eve of the Pakistan ODI series.

"I enjoy being in those tight pressurised situations and trying to work the team out of it. But I wouldn't say I'm at expert at it.

"My enthusiasm and energy for the game has risen more by being able to have a couple of months off.

"When you do play pretty much all the previous year, there are times when you do start to get mentally and physically fatigued."

Hussey raised an eyebrow at a reporter's question about being one of the older players.

"I'm not that old am I?," he smiled.

"It's important for the experienced players to lead from the front.

"But having said that, you're part of the team. Whether you're 21 or you're 37, you're picked in the Australian team to perform.

"I don't try to put any more pressure on myself because I'm a more experienced player."

Hussey is even putting his hand up as a back-up gloveman for Matthew Wade, or as a fill-in opener if Wade is exhausted in the heat and is dropped down the order after wicketkeeping earlier in the match.

"Whatever the team needs," Hussey said.


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