Hussey bats for 'legendary' Ponting following 'fifth-ball duck' in Gabba Test
Gabba Test centurion Michael Hussey has lent his support to Ricky Ponting as the former national skipper endured an unwelcome scrutiny following his fifth-ball duck in the Brisbane Test against South Africa.
Being caught at second slip off Morne Morkel in an innings where Michael Clarke scored a double century, opener Ed Cowan notched his maiden Test ton and Hussey reached three figures, has put Ponting in the crosshairs of critics who believe his international career was close to being over.
However, according to Hussey, the comments were as premature as they were unfair.
"I think it's ridiculous. We all know Ricky is an absolute legend of the game and he's batting unbelievably well. He was averaging 150 in the Sheffield Shield in the lead-up to the Test but you get that one good ball and you're out," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hussey, as saying.
"I just think Ricky has some big scores in him. He showed last summer [against India] he had that hunger and desire and ability to still do it and I don't think that's changed this summer," he added.
According to the paper, while eyesight and reflex reaction are considered telling factors in ageing players, 37-year-old Hussey said he found a "clear mind" was perhaps more crucial to him.
"I think it's more in the mind, having a clear mind. I tend to get into trouble when I start trying too hard and have doubts and negative thoughts clouding my mind. For me, I know I act fastest and move my feet quickest and see the ball best when the only thing on my mind is to focus on watching the ball," he said
Hussey also added that like Ponting, who embarked on a gruelling 12-week training regimen before the Australian season started in September, he had also benefited from a well orchestrated build-up, the paper said.