At the first-class and international levels, David Hussey has often found himself in the shadows of his more prolific elder brother, Michael.
However, when it comes to Twenty20 cricket, David has carved out his own niche. With over 5,500 runs and more than 50 wickets in 230 matches, David Hussey is one of the most experienced and successful T20 cricketers in the world.
It was, hence, a surprise when he wasn’t picked at the 2014 IPL Player Auction. But the brother of Mr. Cricket is fairly in love with the game himself and he still became part of the tournament in the capacity of a commentator. Now, just over halfway into Pepsi IPL 2014, David has once again found the opportunity to display his cricketing skills on the field. And in an irony of fate, he is about to turn up for the team that his brother had served for six years, from the first season, before donning a different coloured jersey this year.
As he waited to catch a flight from Bengaluru to Ranchi via Delhi, to join the Chennai Super Kings outfit, David Hussey spoke to IPLT20.com about the prospect of playing for a new IPL team – he represented KKR and KXIP in earlier seasons – this year.
Here are excerpts from his interview:
Welcome back to the IPL, as a player!
Thank you. It’s very exciting. I’m looking forward to it; a little nervous as well, but can’t wait to join up with my new teammates. The CSK team seems incomplete without a Hussey in their side.
Yes, seems like it (laughs). Mike did ever so well for them for six years and hopefully I can continue that trend and help lead the team to success as he did.
Michael was told during a TV interview during a match that you have joined CSK. Superb communication between you two!
We text each other a little bit, but I wasn’t allowed to announce it to anybody. I figured if I’ll tell him, he might tell the world. So, I kept it down a bit.
How did this contract come about?
The talk started a while ago, actually, with Dwayne Bravo having a sore shoulder. He had to be checked out and there were doubts about him being ruled out of the tournament. So, Stephen Fleming rang me and asked if I would be interested in playing. I am definitely a player and I jumped at the chance. I was lucky enough to be here commentating, and now, I can’t wait to play.
Have you spoken to anyone from the CSK management team about your role in the side?
Not as yet. I have sort of spoken to Fleming and he said that I will be a middle-order player, and with Brendon McCullum due to go home for the birth of his baby, I’ll definitely get an opportunity to play.
With KXIP, you were a big part of the leadership group and also captained the team. Do you eye a similar role with CSK this year?
Maybe not so much a leadership role per se, but just helping out with the different plans the team lays out, especially for the foreign players. But otherwise, I think MS Dhoni and Fleming are more than capable of taking all leadership decisions and they don’t need my advice there.
Is there anything you’d like to pick up from Dhoni’s captaincy, given as a senior player you do play that role in other teams.
Just the fact that he remains so calm all the time. No situation seems to faze him. He’s batting at the end of the innings, the run-rate gets to 14 and he goes about his business so cool and collected, and wins most of the games with little fuss. It will be good to have that kind of attitude and ability.
Joining a new team, you are full of apprehensions and questions as to the modus operandi of the team. But do you go in with enough information about CSK, given your brother was with them for so long?
Absolutely, yes. I have spoke to Michael a lot about how CSK run their organization. They are very well led by MS Dhoni and they have got a great coach in Stephen Fleming. Also, I have played a lot against some of the players who will now be my teammates, and that helps me understand their game. Still a bit nervous to find out how they all get along and function together as a team. That makes me further more excited to be joining them.
What is the first thing you set to achieve when joining a new team?
Probably just try to fit into the group and get amongst the boys. I also look to get involved in helping the guys out in whatever ways I can – maybe throw balls during training – and try to be an integral part of the team structure.
Does commentating give you a different perspective of the game as a player?
It does. While commentating as an expert, you suddenly become the best player in the world. You view the game from a totally different position – you see the field changes from far and you have more time to think whether the move is right or wrong. When you’re on the field, you don’t see everything that is going on because you are also worried about your own game. But when you’re upstairs, you can see everything and can predict what ball is going to be bowled next. In that respect, it is a lot easier being a commentator, but I am definitely still a player and I cannot wait to get out there and face some cricket balls again.
Has your commentary stint prepared you better as a player?
It does help. I have been watching the IPL from the com-box and I know what trends are on with teams when it comes to planning, which bowler bowls at which batsman and what their strategies are. Hopefully, I can make use of that knowledge when I go out there on the field.
CSK have now failed twice against Glenn Maxwell. What is the Aussie formula to keep him quiet?
Oh, he’s in the form of his life, isn’t he? It is very difficult to plan the wicket of someone like him because he is so unpredictable. He is capable of hitting the ball in all parts of the ground, except probably behind the ‘keeper. Maybe we should try and get him caught there. You just hope he plays a bad shot and gets out. But this tournament has been good for him; he is a good person and I hope he continues to score.