An emotional Mike Hussey believes the next generation of talented young players can carry Australia through two Ashes series in the space of six months.
Hussey revealed on Saturday he simply did not have the desire – given family commitments and the demands of international cricket – to carry on through a tour of India and two Ashes series over the next year.
Less than a month after Ricky Ponting's retirement, Hussey's decision leaves a gaping hole in Australia's middle order but the 37-year-old believes the young talent stepping up will be more than enough to cover his absence.
"I've no doubts. I'm not worried about the team at all. We've got some fantastic candidates to come in, maybe too many to name," Hussey said.
"History has shown players have come and gone and the game continues to move forward."
Dynamic all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has been included in the 13-man squad to face Sri Lanka in Sydney in the third and final Test and could make his debut, while Usman Khawaja is on standby for captain Michael Clarke.
Hussey's 6183 runs in 78 Tests at an average of 51.52 ranks him sixth on Australia's all-time list for batting averages.
The SCG Test will be the Western Australian's swansong as he bows out of the game well on top with an average of 79.16 in a combined five Tests against South Africa and Sri Lanka this Australian summer.
A revered team player, Hussey noted that the time spent in the rooms after big wins as the most memorable moments in his decorated career, including Australia's 2007 World Cup win and 5-0 Ashes whitewash of England the same year.
"I've openly told team-mates, after we've won a Test match or a one-day series, sitting back with them is my favourite moment of the game," he said.
"Certainly individual milestones and scores are very, very rewarding but the thing I love the most is the comradeship in the rooms.
On whether he wants more personal recognition, Hussey said: "No, not really, not at all. In fact, probably quite the opposite.
"I'm more happy to hide around in the background and do my job and hopefully help Australia win games."
Aside from the World Cup triumph and hitting the winning runs in the Adelaide Test against England in 2007, Hussey said playing along many of the greats of the game like Ponting, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden, were huge personal highlights.
For years, Hussey has led the team song in the rooms after wins but will pass that baton on to a yet-to-be named successor, as he will his number six spot to one of the likes of Maxwell or Khawaja, but not before a final Test triumph.
"I'd love to win the Test match and sing the song one more time. That would probably be the most pleasing thing for me," he said.
"I have spoken to the man who I want to take over (team song duties) but I haven't officially done the handover so I want to keep it to myself until I officially talk to him and the team as well.
"But I have picked out who I want to pass on what I think is a great honour and I'm sure he'll do a fantastic job in many more Test wins."
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 30 December, 2012 12:22PM AEST