Ashes run-up: Hussey, North fail again

November 1st, 2010 - 12:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Perth, Nov.1 (ANI): Western Australian batsmen Michael Hussey endured a first-ball failure while his skipper Marcus North fell for 10 on Sunday against South Australia in Adelaide, suggesting that the road to Ashes team selection could become difficult for both.

Both exited to cavalier strokeplay against unheralded left-arm spinner Aaron O’Brien.

National team coach Tim Nielsen rated South Australian bat Callum Ferguson “a big chance” for an Ashes call-up following an imperious 129 against a Warriors attack featuring Australian spearhead Mitchell Johnson on Saturday.

He also said that New South Wales middle-order batsman Usman Khawaja, who top scored with 60 against Queensland at the Gabba yesterday following a recent double ton against South Australia, had a very good chance of making it to the national squad.

By contrast, Hussey and North needed runs to impress selectors, with a shaky Test middle order being blamed for faltering at key moments in recent series defeats to India and England.

“I think all our players need runs. That’s the big message we’ve been receiving across the board. We know from the Ashes series in 2009 - and we have just seen in India - that the critical thing for us is to have all of our players contributing as well as they can,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Nielsen, as saying.

South Australian skipper Michael Klinger brilliantly took Hussey, who attempted a first-up smash through cover.

“From a personal point of view, the thing for Huss would be to get a couple of really big scores to confirm in his own mind he can keep doing it and he’s back in form,” said Nielsen of 54-Test veteran Hussey, now 35.

“He will have a couple of weeks to get that going.”

North’s early departure yesterday was a reminder of his feast-or-famine existence in 19 Tests featuring five ducks and five tons.

“There has been a lot of talk about Marcus North but he has made five Test hundreds now,” Nielsen said.

North was dropped by James Smith at short leg on 0 yesterday before miscuing a loft over mid-on soon after. (ANI)

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