Former middle-order batsman Mike Hussey has been drafted in by Australian coach Justin Langer to help mentor the side during their upcoming Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. He is the latest great to be brought into the fold after Ricky Ponting joined the backroom staff at the one-day World Cup this year and Steve Waugh helped out during the Ashes series in England. Australia play back-to-back three-game T20 series against Sri Lanka and then Pakistan starting next Sunday in Adelaide to kick off their summer season.
"I'm very excited actually. I'm really looking forward to getting back in around the Aussie team," Hussey, who is nicknamed "Mr Cricket", told the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Sunday. "They are going to be trying to get strategies in place, develop a style of play and what players they want and I love all that stuff -- planning for a big event. "They have floated the possibility of being involved closer to the T20 World Cup (in Australia next year) as well but it's all pretty loose at the moment."
Langer has also made former Test speedster Ryan Harris bowling coach for the series. He told the newspaper the presence of Ponting, Waugh and now Hussey was enormous for his team. "I can't tell you how influential these guys can be on the group," said Langer. "It's nice to have different voices and different eyes and see guys of that calibre giving us feedback on what they see."
Justin Langer said he was "doing a brilliant job at the moment". "He's been outstanding in his time as captain. However long he wants to keep playing for is another thing," he added. Unlike Steve Smith, former vice-captain David Warner endured a miserable return from the "sandpaper gate" scandal, struggling to make double figures against England. But Justin Langer said he still had confidence in the explosive opener, who returned to form with a century for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield last week. "He had a poor series against England, no doubt. That's just a fact, and he knows that" Justin Langer said. "But he also hasn't lost his talent, because he was the highest run-scorer in the World Cup two weeks before the Ashes started, and he was the highest run-scorer in the IPL (Indian Premier League) before that. So he can bat. "The other thing about David Warner, my experience tells me that you never write off champion players. And he's a champion player."