CHENNAI: Mike Hussey and Rahul Dravid are similar in many ways. Both had been integral parts of their national teams, yet the spotlight has rarely been on them. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising when ‘Mr Cricket’ termed the ‘Wall’ as his favourite Indian cricketer of the modern era.
“(Sachin) Tendulkar, too, is a great player but I like Dravid the most for the way he approaches the game,” Hussey said on the sidelines of a cricket education programme.
“It’s his guts, determination and never-say-die attitude that makes him stand out,” Hussey said, praising the Indian stalwart, who quit international cricket after the team’s debacle in Australia. Dravid didn’t do too well in that series, but Hussey doesn’t feel that takes anything away from the right-hander’s glorious career.
“He had done it for years, scored runs everywhere he played, and he is such a humble human being,” Hussey said. The respect for the Team Rajasthan captain was evident in the cricketer’s tenor.
The Aussie feels India have a strong talent pool, but he made it clear to TOI that it will be difficult for them to find Dravid’s replacement. “It will be very very hard for India. Let me tell you, it won’t happen in a hurry,” Hussey said.
But the Australian, turning out for Team Chennai in the IPL, believes that India have a wealth of talent. “Virat (Kohli) has proved that he is a world-class performer. Then there are the likes of Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Cheteshwar Pujara. There are many more and the kind of following that India have for the game, they will always discover new players,” Hussey added.
He has seen the rise and fall of Indian cricket. The Aussies were victims of the Indian onslaught in the World Cup last year, but when it came to the Tests Down Under, MS Dhoni’s boys got the thrashing of their lives, losing 0-4.
Hussey, though, doesn’t feel anything is drastically wrong with Indian cricket. “You should understand that India reached the top in both forms of the game. It’s not easy to hold on to the spot and England came very hard at them. Then, we too, were really keen to win that series. But it will be wrong to say that India are no longer the same team that they were,” the left-hander said graciously. Dhoni’s captaincy, too, came up for discussion but Hussey didn’t blame his Chennai skipper. “A captain is always as good as his team. It’s true for every team, be it India or Chennai,” he added.
When he was quizzed about Team Chennai’s poor run, the Aussie said they were not out of the race yet. “We have been through such situations before. How can I forget the way Dhoni hit that six in Dharmsala in 2010 to win us a losing game and take us through to the semifinals. This team knows how to fight and we won’t go down that easily,” Hussey said.