Michael Hussey excludes India from his World Cup semi-finalists
Former Australian batsman and member of the 2007 World Cup-winning team Michael Hussey has backed the relatively young current Indian team to be a force to reckon with in international cricket in the coming years, but doesn’t feel they have what it takes to make it to the semi-finals of the ongoing World Cup, picking South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka as favourites for the final four instead.
"My semi-final line-up will be Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka," Hussey told PTI.
Explaining the rationale behind expecting India to become a dominant force in the time to come, the 39-year-old said that the batsmen in the current Indian setup don't have problems coping with the short ball, which couldn’t necessarily be said of the batsmen from previous generations.
"The current players in the Indian team are adept at handling the short ball really well. That is what I have seen in the Test series.
“India are an exciting team as I have loved watching them this summer. There is so much talent and I am sure they are going to be a force in years to come,” he said.
He also had a word of advice for MS Dhoni’s men when they take on the West Indies and United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the WACA in Perth, Hussey’s home ground. He cautioned them against going gung-ho in the initial few overs and losing too many wickets in the process, with run-making getting a lot easier subsequently.
"I wouldn't like them (Indian team) change (tactics) much. Just keep a clear mind and play with instinct. Once you get through the first 20 balls, it (WACA) is the best place to bat in the world because you can score so quickly," he said.
Hard to compare Kohli and Smith: Hussey
When he was asked to name the standout Indian players from their tour of Australia, he said he was very happy with the way Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane played.
"I was very impressed with Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane's performance(in the Test series),” he said.
He also refused to compare Steven Smith and Virat Kohli, both of whom have drawn comparisons due to their outstanding form in recent months, saying that it would be difficult for him to do so as he hasn‘t played with either of them.
"It is hard for me to comment as I have not played under either of them. From far, they both seem like very positive people," he opined.