He walked from the field as the Gabba rose to applaud an innings as much about the match as it was of redemption. A man with his back screwed to the wall nailed his name to the team list with a stroke of his bat.
There are times when watching cricket that you start to feel that something special is building, I felt this watching Warne’s first test in England. As Michael Hussey cut and pulled England during the afternoon session of the 2nd day you started to feel that he was turning the game in his gloves.
Sitting in my lounge observing a ‘testing’ first session of punch and counter punch against the old enemy, Hussey showed toughness that is only shown in the true test of 5 day cricket, as he baked in the morning Brisbane sun to fight off the early use of the new ball. Building an innings from scratch is no mean task and as the sun wilted the once tall poppies in the English bed of roses, Hussey stood tall playing shot after shot, beating fielders with timing over power, mental strength over reckless attitude.
Australia as a country and a cricket side has changed dramatically over the past 4 years and in this time we have seen our pride and passion for being Australian used as a prime excuse to act less that favourable towards our fellow citizens, or behave as yobs overseas. Long had the fighting kangaroo disappeared from the worlds view; Hussey with his no frills cricket. No bombshell women’s magazine wife, tattoo wearing, product placement cricketer. Who in many ways comes across as the suburban man from WA, proved that the ‘average’ man has greatness when he puts others thoughts aside and worries about his contribution to team and country.
The return of the battler. As he jumped for joy at making his 100, hugging Haddin and punching the air with his bat and helmet. An Australian in the fighting sense, a respectful batsman who credits the bowlers for the endeavour and the media for its reasons, but forgot all of that for a day and half to provide the English a glimpse into the heart of a patriot batsman, and to worry England into the fact that Australia is not prepared to just give away the opportunity on home soil.
England’s reply will be quick and deadly, as a nation they are now the leaders in a sport they were laughed at. And when emotion runs high from one side, it can have the effect to muster the troops of the other. England is no longer the ugly step child, which slides into the shadows as its master beats them. A reply will be forth coming and one that shall show all that this series will be special for more than just its holders 20 year mission to win in the sun burnt country.