The Australian player with the most to lose has improved his team’s chances of developing a winning position. For two years Michael Hussey has been clinging on, but with his spot in increasing danger he has let go. By choosing his destiny and combining freedom and purpose, he is being watched by the selectors purely for pleasure. Their red pens now look elsewhere to mark crosses.
A true professional stirs when the danger is most severe, but Hussey didn’t merely save his place by grafting or working the ball, like he did at The Oval in 2009 and the SCG in January. This time he was a fresh shot-maker, an aggressor chasing early boundaries instead of settling in by leaving and hoping. When the rain and bad light arrived with 17 overs still to bowl he had breezed to 81 and belted 13 fours and a six.