Scorecard / Action in Images/ All the results / Schedule
After two wins under his belt in the ongoing World Twenty20, Australia's captain George Bailey has sought to put to rest questions regarding Victoria veteran David Hussey's non-inclusion in the first eleven for the tournament.
Speaking after beating the West Indies by 17 runs by Duckworth/Lewis calculations, Bailey said that Hussey, regarded as Australia's most outstanding short-form cricketer, is likely to come into calculations later in the tournament when the pitch at Premadasa Stadium begins to wear and take spin.
Hussey's batting spot in the current squad is being either occupied by Cameron White or newcomer Glenn Maxwell.
"Initially, it's purely a batting position. The way Cameron White is striking the ball, we feel like he is going to give us great impetus through that middle period. Maxie (Maxwell) has a bit of X-factor. His bowling is probably slightly ahead of David's. He's bowling very well and his fielding is outstanding for us," news.com.au quoted Bailey, as saying.
Hussey, on the other hand, believes the focus should be on the team and not on him playing or not playing.
"I've had great communication with (coach) Mickey (Arthur) and George (Bailey) and while I'd love to be in the XI, I know where things are at," Hussey said.
Considered one of Australia's pre-eminent limited overs cricketers, Hussey, 35, received a Cricket Australia contract when the list was reduced from 25 to 17 mid-year despite not being in the Test side.
He was to be a central figure of this campaign with his potentially destructive batting against spinners and his own useful off-spin.
And he had the runs on the board, sitting third on Australia's list behind David Warner and Shane Watson, along with being his country's must successful spinner in T20 matches with 19 wickets at 19.
But a batting average that was 31 in February 2010 has fallen below 24 and six of his past 13 T20 innings have been single figures.
The figures explain why he is out of the side, but Bailey believes there has been an unnecessary emphasis on Hussey since his demotion.
"I'm getting a little bit sick of talking about the Dave Hussey scenario," Bailey said.
"Clint McKay is another one on the sidelines who, if you look at our last 12 months of cricket, would comfortably be our best short-form bowler in Twenty20 and one-dayers.
"But no one has really asked about why he has been left out. It just seems to be accepted. It's hard leaving anyone out. Ben Hilfenhaus could walk in and do a job with the new ball.
"You can't play everyone. It's as much about balance and trying to get that feel right.
"The advantage Dave Hussey has is the fact he can bowl a few overs. We know how good a striker of the ball he is. Coming into the back end of the tournament if the wickets do start to turn a lot, there's an option to bring him back in," Bailey said.