Hussey and Haddin revel in runs

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The Independent Online

Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin's record-breaking day at the Gabba was the perfect response for an Australian team with a lot of critics, and the long-time team-mates say that doing it together made the moment all the sweeter.





Both men entered the game under scrutiny. Hussey's lack of form was a recurring issue in the Ashes build-up and Haddin had not played a Test since March, with understudy Tim Paine performing exceptionally.



When they came together at the crease, Australia looked on their way to an embarrassing second-day collapse. By the time Haddin was out for 136 in the final session on Day 3 they'd rewritten the record books - their partnership of 307 the highest ever at the Gabba.



Breaking a mark held by Don Bradman and Lindsay Hasset since 1946 will be something to savour in days to come, but Hussey says there were no thoughts of history, only a focus on toughing it out together.



"It was about just trying to keep each other in the moment, and keep playing ball by ball," Hussey said.



"We had a bit of a laugh along the way, and we talked about our battles and struggles and any negative thoughts, and we just tried to focus on playing the next ball as well as we could. I thoroughly enjoyed the partnership.



"As I was walking off, as much as I was disappointed (to fall short of a double ton), I thought, I have to soak this in and really enjoy it. There were emotions that went through my body that I'll never forget."



Haddin was equally delighted with his innings. Having come to the crease with his side in desperate trouble at 143 for five, it could easily have been a different story.



Making the occasion all the sweeter for Haddin, who scored his third Test century, was the struggle taken to overcome England's deadly first-hour charge.



The Aussie keeper had just two singles in the 50 minutes of play, and he paid the tourists some weighty compliments in the press conference at the close of play.



"The first hour was probably the hardest Test bowling that I've ever had to face. It was a tough as Test cricket gets with Anderson and Broad bowling," he said.



"That first hour, was the toughest and the highest quality Test bowling that you're going to get anywhere. It was a real battle."



"We couldn't get too far ahead of ourselves, we just had to keep it as simple as we could."



Though Australia hold a seemingly unbeatable lead with two days remaining, Hussey was not suffering from any short-term memory loss. Reminded of Australia's recent back-end fades in India, he told media there was no chance of complacency.



"We've been in some fantastic positions in the last year or so (and haven't gone on to win), and it's a challenge for our team. We've got to try to finish the job," he said.



"It's Test cricket, it's not easy, we're going to have to work hard for it, we know that, but it's going to be very special if we can."



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