Hussey denies Australia were defensive


Nagpur : Australia’s in-form batsman Michael Hussey dismissed suggestions that they were defensive in the Test series against India.

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Australia, trailing 0-1 in the four-match series, face a must-win situation in the fourth and final Test starting here Thursday.

First, it was Zaheer Khan at Mohali and then V.V.S. Laxman in the Delhi Test who accused the Australians of being uncharacteristically ultra defensive.

Defending his team’s approach, Hussey said: “I would not necessarily agree we are a defensive team. We have to play according to the situation of the game. When the opposition scores such a big first innings score, it is very hard to dictate terms, so that’s probably why we appeared a bit defensive. But we were doing everything to save those two Tests.”

“In the first Test in Bangalore, we were quite attacking. We did take a while to score our runs, but the pitch was probably the main cause of that. We actually tried to win that game as hard as any Test match,” Hussey told reporters.

The left-handed batsman said if the situation demands, his team will not shy away from being aggressive to force a victory in the Nagpur Test.

“If the situation presents itself, we will be very attacking. We need to win this last Test so we got to make sure we play very well in the first innings whether we bowl or bat first, and get ourselves into a position where we can attack.”

Hussey said the batsmen are more comfortable playing Amit Mishra, who took seven wickets on debut in Mohali but was not that effective in the Delhi Test.

“In Mohali it was a little bit difficult because we had never seen Mishra before. Now we had a good look at him. So we hope to have a lot more success against him. When you see someone for the first time it is a bit challenging picking up the deliveries.”

Hussey, who has been the best batsman for the visitors in the series, said the focus would be to start the Test match well and then build on the pressure.

“We would like to concentrate on winning the first session. If we can start well and put ourselves into a position of strength, we can give ourselves a good chance to try and press for a victory.”

“Our effort in Delhi was outstanding. When the opposition makes 600 in their first innings, it takes a lot of perseverance and application. We can definitely take some confidence from that leading into the last Test.”