Forgotten man David Hussey is hoping to emerge as Victoria’s unlikely hero in their Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland at the Gabba.
The old adage “play every game like it is your last” suddenly has new meaning for Victorian veteran batsman David Hussey.
Initially set to be overlooked by the Bushrangers, Hussey now finds all eyes are on him as Victoria vie for an outright Sheffield Shield win over Queensland at the Gabba.
At stumps on day two, the Bushrangers are 5-230 with Hussey not out 41 in reply to the Bulls’ first innings of 8(dec)-382.
The 36-year-old appeared to be fighting for his first-class career when named 12th man for Victoria’s last Shield clash – the second time in three games he had been snubbed.
And he had only played in the match before that against Western Australia – in which he struck a fine 85 – because captain Matthew Wade was suspended for pitch tampering.
Fate stepped in again ahead of the Bulls clash when Rob Quiney (calf) succumbed to injury.
However, Hussey admits even a match-winning knock may not guarantee another start for the Bushrangers.
“I am just enjoying playing to be fair,” he told AAP.
“We have some good kids playing for Victoria at the moment.
“If I can contribute it makes it worthwhile.”
Asked to describe his situation, Hussey said: “It’s an interesting one.
“I still want to play and contribute to the team but I understand the direction Cricket Victoria are heading and they have communicated with me beautifully.
“I am up here trying to help the young kids play in different conditions.”
Late bloomer Hussey always said he played each of his 69 one-day internationals and 39 Twenty20s for Australia “like they were his last”.
Suddenly it is a fitting mantra at the Bushrangers.
But Hussey added: “It’s how I have played all my life.
“It’s no different to how I started 10 years ago.”
Queensland struck a telling blow before stumps when Wade (35) was caught behind off Ben Cutting (1-56), ending a 75-run fifth-wicket stand with Hussey as Victoria again stumbled in their first-innings run-chase.
But Hussey has picked up where the likes of Cameron White (76) and opener Peter Handscomb (52) left off.
The pair put on a 103-run third wicket stand after Alister McDermott (3-52) trapped Aaron Finch (four) in front and bowled Glenn Maxwell (14) to reduce the visitors to 2-33.
Earlier, the Bulls declared their first innings on the stroke of lunch in their hunt for a much-needed result.
Bottom team Queensland have approached the clash as a must-win game after amassing just four points in five matches – 14 behind leaders NSW – while the Bushrangers (8 points) are reeling from two outright losses.