Mr Cricket mentoring Australia's next in line

Hussey takes up the assistant coach position for Australia A's upcoming clashes with India A

The Australia A squad set to play two first-class over matches the next fortnight will be handed a considerable dose of experience and expertise through their new assistant coach, Mike Hussey.

Hussey, who joins his brother David as well as ex-Australia teammate Brad Haddin as budding coaches to have filled the role under head coach Troy Cooley over the past six weeks, takes on the post after previous stints as a batting consultant with both Australia and South Africa.

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"I'm looking forward to it. It's great to stay in touch with the game and watch the next generation of players coming through, and try to help if I possibly can, so I'm really looking forward to the two games against India A," the 41-year-old said of the clashes beginning September 8 and 15.

"It looked like a good (one-day quadrangular) tournament, but I'm coming in with no preconceived ideas – I just want to start building and developing relationships with those guys in the team now, and help out wherever I possibly can."

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The Australia A batting line-up is stacked with high-quality first-class players who, as the team name suggests, are on the fringes of national selection.

Those names include Queensland's Joe Burns, who lost his spot to Shaun Marsh in the recent Test series in Sri Lanka, Victorian trio Travis Dean, Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis, as well as Western Australians Sam Whiteman and Cameron Bancroft.

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And while 'Mr Cricket' said such a short time frame wouldn't allow him to explore major changes to techniques, he would instead explore what he considers an equally important aspect of the game at the highest level.

"It's difficult to make any big changes or do a lot of 'coaching' in just a two-week period, over two matches," he explained.

"So it's just a case of trying to talk with these guys as much as possible, develop a relationship and build a rapport that hopefully can develop and last over time, rather than just this two-week period, and just challenge the guys to think for themselves and get their own games in good working order.

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"The mental side of the game is a huge part of it, particularly at international level.

"All the players have excellent skills, but it's what goes on between the ears that really is the difference between becoming a great player and just being an average player.

"So I'll be certainly trying to pass on any experience I have there, and try to challenge them and ask questions about how they're going on the mental side of the game."

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And with 100 days until the first-ever Gabba day-night Test, from December 15 against Pakistan, Hussey was looking forward to seeing what the pink ball does under lights as well as the Aussies' clash with currently the No.1 ranked Test team.

"I'm really excited, I think it's going to be a great contest between bat and ball," he added. "We've certainly seen the batsmen have a pretty good run of it in Australian conditions over the last few years, they've scored heavily.

"It's been tough work for the bowlers. But certainly with the pink ball, under lights, it can do a little bit more, particularly up here at the Gabba, so I'd expect the bowlers to really enjoy having the pink ball in their hand and test a few of the batsmen out.

"I'm not sure I'd like to be out there batting, but I think it's going to be a good contest.

"Pakistan have got a really good attack, and they're playing confident cricket – in the Test matches in England they performed really well, they're a very motivated team at the moment, and a confident Pakistan is a very dangerous team."

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