Mike Hussey dismisses rift in Australia camp
Thursday 04 November 2010
Experienced batsman Mike Hussey has dismissed suggestions of a rift in the Australia camp after claims several players were unhappy with captain-in-waiting Michael Clarke.
A report in a Sydney newspaper this morning implied Hussey and Clarke had a falling-out in India over public comments Clarke made surrounding Hussey's late arrival prior to the first Test.
Both Hussey and Doug Bollinger were forced by Cricket Australia (CA) to participate in the final stages of the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa - a tournament CA has a stake in - rather than joining the national team in Mohali.
While Clarke did not name the duo, he publicly questioned players' decisions to play in the Indian Premier League and Champions League tournaments, insisting representing Australia should come first.
The comments led to speculation all was not well in the Australia camp and prompted skipper Ricky Ponting to address the team to explain the real reason for the pair's 11th-hour arrival.
But a perplexed Hussey denied there was any division within the team, insisting they are "really tight".
"There's no problems whatsoever," the 35-year-old said of his relationship with Clarke.
"I have a very good relationship actually with Michael Clarke. We talk about cricket every time we're in the dressing room.
"I have no issues whatsoever so I'm not exactly sure where some of these so called issues are coming from.
"I haven't read the article so I don't know exactly what's going on, but all I can say is our team is really tight."
Hussey also endorsed the New South Welshman's captaincy credentials.
"I think he's got some very good leadership qualities," Hussey said.
"He leads from the front, he's very decisive and he's got a very, very good cricket brain.
"He understands the game very well, understands the pressures of the game very well and I think he's learning all the time and who better to learn under than Ricky Ponting?"
Hussey admits the team's six-game losing streak in all three forms of the game is frustrating, but is adamant things will turn around swiftly.
"In a lot of those matches we've been in great positions to win the game and we just haven't been able to finish it off," he said.
"We just have to keep getting ourselves into those winning positions and then we just have to push even harder on the pedal and really make sure we get a victory and get that winning feeling back.
"It's a really important time that we stick together... to keep backing each other, keep trusting our plans and our processes and knowing that if we stick to what we know works then we will come through the other side."
With uncertainty starting to surround Clarke's role as heir apparent to Ponting, Marcus North's name has been mentioned as a possible future captain.
But the Victorian, the current captain of Western Australia, quashed the idea today.
"What I've woken up and read this morning is completely unfounded," he said today. "I've never seen it.
"I must be playing in another cricket team if that's a fact.
"Yesterday the feeling in the media is who can replace North and then the next minute I'm being touted as Australian captain.
"In an Ashes summer you can expect a bit of hype and a few stories but I think we're scraping the barrel there a bit."
Asked whether he would be interested in the captaincy, North said: "Obviously Ricky's here to stay for a number of years yet and Michael Clarke's been the one that's being groomed as the next captain.
"When he (Clarke) has taken over from Ricky he's been very, very good at leading the side, it's something that certainly doesn't enter my thinking at all.
"It's a bit of humour to me. It's just another story - it will be forgotten about tomorrow."
Batsman Shaun Marsh will miss the rest of the Commonwealth Bank series against Sri Lanka after suffering a lower back injury during the dramatic one-wicket loss in Melbourne yesterday.
South Australian Callum Ferguson will replace Marsh in the squad for the remaining two games of the series in Sydney and Brisbane.
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