Not even Michael Hussey can put his finger on exactly why he's been able to dominate Sri Lanka in the manner he has since debuting against the island nation in 2007.
The veteran Western Australian posted his fifth Test century in six matches against Sri Lanka with an unbeaten 115 on Saturday, helping Australia to a position of power after two days of the first Test.
Having teamed with Michael Clarke for a century stand late on the first day, Hussey joined forces with Matthew Wade on Saturday to add 146 for the sixth wicket and propel the home side towards a shrewd declaration at 5-450.
"I don't know how it works out like that," he said. "Maybe sometimes you just have a team you seem to score runs against and there's other teams you seem to struggle against. I don't know why, it just seems to happen."
It was Hussey's 19th century in 77 Tests, but came up in a rather fortunate manner – the evergreen 37-year-old lofting a pull shot towards Angelo Mathews in the deep when on 96, watching on in horror as the Sri Lankan clasped the ball momentarily before spilling the catch over the square leg boundary.
"When you get in the 90s your mind starts playing tricks on you … I couldn't believe it when I picked him out," Hussey said of his narrow escape.
"Sometimes in this game it just happens to be your day and luckily for me today was my day. There's been plenty of days when it hasn't gone my way, so you just have to enjoy days like today."
Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford was more succinct in his opinion as to why Hussey has had such success against his side, labelling him a 'bloody good' player before admitting the tourists had struggled to threaten with the ball on a placid Blundstone Arena pitch.
"He is an outstanding player," Ford said.
"We don't have that much firepower when it comes to seam bowling, we don't blow sides away … we didn't really have the firepower to get through his defences and he's a good player of spin.
"Over the years I guess he's been able to neutralise our main strength, being spin bowling, and we haven't been able to get into him with seam bowling, so that's possibly the reason why he's done well, but he is a good player and has a good record full stop."
After Hussey and Wade had guided Australia to the declaration target late in the second session, the Sri Lankans soon found themselves under pressure from Australia's rejuvenated pace attack and stumbled to be 4-87 at stumps.
With runs on the board, Hussey was confident the home side would go on to make the most of a slowly deteriorating pitch and really turn the screws on Sri Lanka on Sunday.
"There's certainly enough variable bounce there and a couple that took off from nowhere and that made it hard to feel in and feel like you could trust the bounce and drive on the up. It's difficult to score freely," he said.
Play will resume at 10am on Sunday in order to make up time lost during rain delays on day two.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 15 December, 2012 9:40PM AEST