By the time the IPL was first floated in 2008, David Hussey had already played a record number of T20 games which made him one of the most seasoned batsmen in the shortest version of the game. He is a cricketer who understands the dynamics of the T20 version of cricket better than many and although it is true that many batsmen in the present day have successfully unlocked the mysteries of the perfect approach to a 20 over game, it cannot be denied that David Hussey was the first one to do so. He first played for the Kolkata Knight Riders for the first three seasons and now he is a key member of the Kings XI Punjab contingent.
A batsman of the calibre of David Hussey is valued very highly in a T20 side due to his ability to build an innings for his team. Although there might be batsman who might have greater talents as a player, there are not many who have the knack of reading the game as well as he does. Hussey usually bats at number 4 and at this position he acts as the link between the top order and the lower middle order; however, his sound technique and uncomplicated strokeplay makes him a player who is hard to contain at any stage of the game. In addition to that, he has also shown a natural aptitude towards captaincy and so when Adam Gilchrist dropped himself from the side this year, Hussey was promoted as the captain.
Right from the first auction in 2008, David Hussey has been a player for whom the different teams have paid top dollar. His first team KKR paid $650,000 for his services for each of the first 3 seasons. He was one of the only few players in the KKR side who performed during the first 3 seasons and so when the 2011 auctions came along, Kings XI Punjab made him their marquee signing for a jaw dropping $1.4 million.
David Hussey has participated in the IPL since its inception and over the past 6 seasons he has played plenty of memorable innings. His highest score remains the 71 he scored off 46 balls (4*4, 6*4) in 2008 against his future team, the Kings XI Punjab in a game the KKR eventually lost narrowly by 9 runs. Chasing a target of 178, KKR found itself at a precarious 50/5 in the 10th over but Hussey rescued the innings and almost took the team to victory in a rousing climax.
In the most recent season of the tournament, Hussey did not have a very fruitful run with his average dipping from 33 in 2012 to 23.50 last year. As a matter of fact, 2012 was his best season ever and hence the deteriorating numbers in the very next must have come as a bit of a dampener for the Kings XI management. In fact, he did not even manage to score a half century in 12 matches. However, Hussey is still a quality player and hopefully he will return to his old ways in IPL VII.
Did you know?
Hussey does bowl occasionally- right arm off-spin- but has hardly had any noteworthy success so far. However, his most contentious decision was to bowl the last over himself in an English county game between Durham and Nottinghamshire, of which he was the captain. Seven was needed off the last over but the tailenders easily knocked off the runs.
By Soham Samaddar