Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust. Pick Dave now Mike’s gone, Inverarity, it’s a must.
Michael Hussey’s retirement from Test cricket will surely prove detrimental to the side, in both the short and long term.
Aside from his expertise with the bat, Australia has lost a wealth of experience with the retirement of Hussey.
But, to find his replacement, maybe selectors need to look a little closer to home. Literally.
With the Australian Test summer petering out to a lopsided conclusion, captain Michael Clarke and fellow selectors will undoubtedly turn their full attention to the looming Indian and English tours, looking to fill the void left by the departures of experienced and established international players.
Prior to this season’s commencement, chairman of selectors John Inverarity opted for a youth policy for the national squad, thus contributing to the sudden departure of veteran keeper-batsman Brad Haddin.
The incoming Matthew Wade is yet to set the Test scene alight, be it with the bat or the gloves.
Unlike his predecessor who often brought spark to the game with a classic catch or a smashing six, Wade has done little to please the Australian fans – despite bowling a surprisingly tidy maiden in Hobart.
The policy for the future was forged upon the inclusion of both youth and somewhat more significantly, veterans, balanced among the squad to hold the side in line.
With the departure of Haddin, and most recently Ponting and Hussey, the balance of budding talent and settled established players is becoming ever so tilted into the way of the former.
Openers David Warner and Ed Cowan hold a combined 23 caps for the Test side. Phil Hughes has just 17.
However only two of Hughes’ appearances have followed his reinstatement into the first XI following his questionable technique and the resulting dismissal from the team.
Let’s not forget Rob Quiney’s short lived career, after making two ducks in three innings earlier this summer.
Shane Watson’s prolonged future in the Test side seems to be forever in the spotlight as his robust body breaks down continuously.
Told that he must contribute with the ball to hold a place in the side, Watson may succumb to the selectors desires as they opt for fellow all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
However, he too is yet to be tested in the five-day game.
Excluding Captain Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey would surely have been the first chosen to board the touring plane to Kolkata and then, more significantly to the Australian public, London.
Yet as the curtain falls on Hussey’s tenure, the cricketing community may once more acknowledge that few players hold the skill that Hussey possesses.
The loss of Mr Cricket may not be fully witnessed until it is too late and the Ashes remain in the hands of Alastair Cook and co.
One on the short list to replace Hussey is Usman Khawaja.
However Khawaja, unlike Hughes and Watson, would be asked to perform middle order roles to which they are not suited and effectively the side would carry five opening batsmen.
Once more, the side’s balance is out of whack.
Michael’s younger brother David is yet to appear in the test side, albeit after sharing a cricketing career not too dissimilar to Mr Cricket himself.
Compiling a mountain of runs in domestic cricket, Dave Hussey averages 53 runs per innings for first class cricket, while also serving as spin option on turning Indian tracks come next year.
The 35-year-old middle order sensation provides the experience and versatility which the Australian side requires ahead of a gruelling 12-month away period.
Maybe the search for the next Mr Cricket was over before it began.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 31 December, 2012 10:01AM AEST