Hussey eager for IPL swansong despite Mumbai exit
Sydney: Former Australian batsman Mike Hussey, who was excluded from the Mumbai Indians squad for Indian Premier League 2015, feels that he still has the passion and the capability to thrive in one last season of the Twenty20 tournament.
"I've really enjoyed playing over there, really enjoy the IPL, and I still felt like I was contributing. At this stage, I'm more leaning towards going into the auction," Hussey was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday.
The left-hander has enjoyed remarkable success in the IPL. He scored a century on debut for Chennai Super Kings in 2008 and remained with the team until last year when tournament salary-cap rules were toughened to dissuade teams retaining too many players and he was released.
Based on Hussey's success in his first full season after his international retirement from Australia in early 2013, when in 17 IPL matches he scored 733 runs at an average of 53.36 and a strike-rate of 129.51, it was little surprise when he was bought by Mumbai last year for Rs 50 million ($940,000).
The Indians dropped Hussey after he scored only 30 runs in the first four matches of the 2014 season.
"What I was most disappointed about was I did have a tough start over in the United Arab Emirates but if you looked pretty closely at it, most batters actually struggled in the UAE. A couple of the big power players did quite well but a vast majority of the batsmen did struggle," he said.
"But as soon as I got back to India I actually felt really good and felt like I was contributing to the team, both on and off the field, and I felt like I was building something really special with Lendl Simmons as an opening partner."
Once the tournament returned to India, so did Hussey's form - once he got a second chance at the end of it. In his last five matches of 2014 he averaged 36 for Mumbai and then 32 in the recent Champions League.
But he failed to preserve his spot in Mumbai, who have been the most active post-season trader in recruiting local players Unmukt Chand, Vinay Kumar and Parthiv Patel.
"I don't know what's going on behind the scenes. All I know is that I was told they wanted to get some fresher faces in there. I've heard whispers and other things, things like they needed to free up some money to get some other players in," Hussey said.
"I put my heart and soul into Chennai and I was keen to play my whole career there. But in the next edition, I moved to Mumbai and took time to adjust and feel comfortable in the new environment. Now it feels like a bit of unfinished business because I spent only a year there and things take time to evolve and time to build."
Hussey said his strong finish to the past IPL season, and his scores of 28, 60 and seven in the Champions League, reinforced his self belief about his capability of being a worthwhile recruit in 2015.
"I don't like to look at the averages too much in T20 because sometimes they can blur the truth," he said.
"All I can say is I felt like I was batting really well and was contributing. You don't always get what you want in life and unfortunately it did not go my way on this occasion. They [Mumbai Indians] saw things differently."