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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The talented (and focused) Mr Cricket

In last weekend's Australian Peter Lalor wrote about Mike Hussey's determination and application

Hussey waited 11 years and compiled 15,313 first-class runs before getting a sniff of the baggy green. It is doubtful that anybody on this side of sanity has applied themselves so totally to the goal of playing Test cricket. At times, Hussey may have drifted close to the other side of that line.

He practised day and night and then sometimes in between. He sought advice from all and sundry and then a few of sundry's mates. He listened and he practised and he made lists. List after list after list. Everything in his life appears to revolve around notes and plans and goals. To this day he is still the same.

He has a Sleep Plan, (no coffee in afternoon/lights off 9.30pm/don't panic if you wake in the night and so on), a day plan, a career plan, a captaincy plan, an Ashes plan, a plan for this and a plan for plans.

Even John Buchanan was surprised by Hussey's diligence. When the former coach asked the players to send him some thoughts on the eve of the last Ashes, the West Australian replied with a 20-point list, complete with sub-headings and subsections and finished the email by saying he looked forward to more feedback from his team-mates and maybe could squeeze in a visit to the Centre of Excellence.

Amy, his wife, is too familiar with Hussey's structured existence, having been scheduled in at certain times of the day when they dated. She tries to keep him on track.

"When I start going off on these weird tangents, when the pressures right on, she has this way of just bringing things back to simple, basic elements and nine times out of 10 she is generally right," Hussey said.

And, yes, he knows that in the past he has gone a bit too far.

"Sometimes it got out of hand, but I haven't been too bad in the last few years because I know my game a lot better now and I understand what I need to do to get my game right.

"Certainly I think when I'm home and I've got a long list of things to do that day, things around the house, Amy will just say 'can we just throw the list out for one day, just have no plan today' and I get a bit frazzled, definitely."

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