Australian great Mike Hussey talks up taking England role for Ashes series

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Former Australia batter Mike Hussey insisted he would have no problems with crossing the Ashes divide in future after taking up a coaching position with England at the T20 World Cup.

Hussey, widely viewed as one of the greatest batters of his era, averaged 59.27 with four hundreds in 15 Tests against England and was an instrumental part of the Australia side that won the 2006-07 Ashes.

Since ending an international career that yielded more than 12,000 runs in 2013, Hussey has had several coaching roles and is now overseeing Chennai Super Kings’ batters in the IndianPremier League.

The 47-year-old is currently preparing England’s T20 batters in Australia on a short-term consultancy deal but, if overtures were made, he would be tempted to link up with Brendon McCullum’s Test side.

Known as ‘Mr Cricket’ due to his encyclopaedic knowledge of the sport, Hussey has watched in admiration at how McCullum has transformed England’s Test fortunes with six wins in seven matches in the summer.

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And when asked if there would be any stumbling blocks with potentially working for England in an Ashes series, the 2007 50-over World Cup winner said: “No, I wouldn’t have any issues whatsoever. I’ve loved watching how the England Test team has gone about their cricket over the past six months.

“I think Brendon’s done a fantastic job with that Test team in the short time he’s been there. You can sort of see his philosophy coming through.”

Indeed, Hussey feels he could be a counterweight to England’s attacking tempo under head coach McCullum although he distanced himself from the prospect of a full-time role.

I’ve loved watching how the England Test team has gone about their cricket over the past six months

Hussey added: “I’m probably more of a conservative type of player than Brendon so maybe it would balance out quite nicely. I’m very passionate about coaching and I love it.

“But I don’t want to get into something that’s going to be full-time again and then you feel like you’re going to be on the road 10 or 11 months a year especially with young families involved.

“It’s about getting that balance right between feeding your passion of coaching and having plenty of time at home.”

England’s white-ball head coach Matthew Mott has turned to two of his Australian compatriots as assistants, with Hussey joined by David Saker, who is mentoring the bowlers.

Hussey admitted some of his former team-mates have had a say on his appointment while there was even a radio phone-in recently which asked whether him taking the position was ‘un-Australian’.

Hussey said: “I must admit the first time I did pull on the England shirt it was a little bit strange.

“But after that you get to work and you get to work with the players and enjoy developing those individual relationships with the guys and you forget about what shirt you’re wearing.

“It’s more about just helping them try and be ready to play their best cricket on game day. It’s a great opportunity to be involved with a new environment, a new team and a new country.

“It’s great for me to be able to learn, but also hopefully I can impart some of my knowledge as well and help a few of the players. It’s more about helping players get better.

“It doesn’t matter whether they’re Indian, Australian, New Zealand or English, it doesn’t bother me whatsoever. So a little bit weird to start with. But after that, no, absolutely fine.”

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England take on Australia at the MCG on Friday in what could be a crunch fixture which determines who progresses to the semi-final stage.

Hussey added: “It’ll be a slightly weird feeling as an Australian to actually hope England’s going to beat Australia but that’s what I’ll be hoping for on Friday.”

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