2008 Monkeygate inspired India at Perth: Hussey

January 9th, 2012 - 4:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh Perth, Jan 9 (IANS) Australia’s veteran middle-order batsman Mike Hussey feels the ‘Monkeygate’ incident during the 2008 Sydney Test motivated the Indian team to come back strongly and win the Perth Test in the 2007-08 series.

Australian Andrew Symonds had accused Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh of calling him a monkey during the acrimonious Sydney Test. The duo, however, made up later and played togther in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Mumbai Indians.

Hussey felt the Monkeygate incident galvanised India to rattle Australia at the WACA Ground by 72 runs, just a week later. Australia, however, held their nerve at Adelaide to secure a 2-1 series win with a draw in the fourth Test.

“There was obviously a lot of controversy after the Sydney Test match, which I think in a way really galvanised the Indian team. They came to Perth with a real determination to do well,” Hussey was quoted as saying by The Age.

“I didn’t feel at the time that it affected our team, but maybe it did a bit with all the controversy going on outside of the game,” he said.

With India trailing 0-2 in the current series, Hussey said it was too early to write off the visitors. Hussey also praised the calming influence of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, with whom he shared the dressing room at Chennai Super Kings during the Indian Premier League.

“Whether things are going well or whether things are going poorly, he keeps a very level head. He doesn’t get too emotional. He’s a very calm character and he tries to instil a lot of belief into his players,” he said.

Hussey also praised Australian skipper Michael Clarke, who posted an unbeaten 329 last week.

“I think Michael Clarke learnt a lot from playing under Ricky Ponting for quite a few years. He wants the game to go forward all the time. He’s an aggressive sort of a captain and he wants the team to be scoring quickly. He’s always thinking as a captain and he’s very passionate about the job,” he said.

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