Chennai: A game-changer for Australia during his international career, Michael Hussey is fulfilling that role with elan for IPL side Chennai Super Kings now -- the only difference being that he feels free to pick and choose his games unlike the hectic pre-retirement days.
Hussey struck a 51-ball 88, including 13 fours and a six, to overshadow Shane Watson's blistering hundred and guide Chennai Super Kings to a five-wicket triumph over the Rajasthan Royals on Monday night.
The 37-year-old veteran has been in good form in the previous matches as well, a rock-solid presence in the CSK batting line-up.
"Well, I am comfortable with my decision to retire from Test cricket...It was more about the schedule of international cricket being extremely tough and having a young family at home. I spend more time with them now. Now I am able to pick and choose games, you will not be able to do that when you play for Australia," the veteran said at the post-match press conference.
Reflecting on his performance last night, a humble Hussey credited his teammates such Suresh Raina (51) for taking pressure off him.
"It was a tough target to chase. Certainly, early on it was to get us off to a fast start. Thankfully, we got to a good start and Suresh Raina came in and played particularly well. Raina took some pressure of me," he said.
Asked to compare his knock in Kolkata in a previous match and the one played on Monday night, Hussey said, "It happened in totally two different games. The pitch in Kolkata was totally different to the pitched we played on here."
"Secondly, we were chasing quite a large score here. It was case of adapting to the situation and to the pitch. Obviously today we had to be a lot more aggressive since we were chasing 185," Hussey explained.
On how he had planned his knock, Hussey said, "My strategy today was to get off to a quick start in the first six overs as it was going to be crucial.
"...today probably we had the best batting pitch so far. We kept the momentum rolling and Raina managed to find the boundaries very freely and that sort of helped us to keep the run rate at par," he elaborated.
Hussey also did not forget to compliment fellow Australian Watson for his blazing hundred that came off just 61 deliveries.
"Watson played a brilliant innings. If he plays like that he will not lose too many Twenty20 games. He is so destructive and he can hit pretty much any ball over the boundary.
"So, it makes it very difficult for the bowlers to bowl to him. He is so strong and so powerful and gets a six extremely quickly. The bowlers were under a lot of pressure in our team," he said.
CSK have five wins from the last seven matches. Asked if the team was peaking too early, Hussey said, "I think it was important for us to make it to the top four. I do not think we are peaking too early as we have plenty to work on.
"I think we have to face some challenges along the way but it is nice to get enough points to make the semifinal. This is our priority."