Mike Hussey guided Australia home in a typical steady and understated fashion.
Mitchell Johnson hitting the winning runs with Hussey on the other end was in someways a fitting tribute to Hussey’s character and career as an Australian cricketer.
Hussey is the purest of competitors: His intensity in his training mirrored his match day effort and everything he strived to do, whether that was executing a reverse sweep or splitting drive or hitting out, was aimed at winning. Not for personal glory or ego stroking but for collective success. He never played for show.
Hussey understood that team success triumphed selfish ambition.
As Lance Armstrong (yes now a villain and hardly the model athlete anymore) once said:
“Anyone who imagines they can work alone winds up surrounded by nothing but rivals, without companions. The fact is, no one ascends alone.”
Perhaps, Armstrong was referring to illicit substances as the “ascending” companion but Hussey surely believed in the idea of a collective effort driven towards a singular goal and that an individual’s greatness can only truly be measured by his team’s success.
It’s no coincidence that many of Hussey’s career highlights can be associated with batting partnerships, both with the top order and tail, and sharp catching in the gully that finished off the bowler’s hard work.
Ultimately, Hussey’s deeds on the field will be associated with the winning culture in Australian cricket.
“Mr. Cricket” was never the showman but forever a winner.