Mumbai: Retired Australian batsman Michael Hussey is relieved that the hard yards he put in to prepare for the Indian Premier League is finally paying off.
The left handed batsman cracked 56 off 33 balls and also put on 87 for the first wicket with Lendl Simmons, who scored 35, in Mumbai Indians' 15-run win over Delhi Daredevils on Friday. It was his second fifty in three matches, coming after a tough time in the UAE.
Hussey said he had worked very hard coming into the tournament but things did not work well for him in the first half of the tournament in the UAE but now he was enjoying playing on Indian wickets.
"It s pretty obvious, isn't it? I love bating in India. It is good for batsmen. It was a bit slow in the UAE and I was not the only one to struggle; a lot of others struggled too," said Hussey.
"I actually worked extremely very hard coming into the tournament but unfortunately it did not go my way in the first half. I worked hard in the nets to try and get my confidence back up and wait for my opportunity. Sometimes you have to just hang in there, remain positive and wait for the opportunity to come. It is nice to contribute to the team."
Mumbai Indians collapsed in a heap after an electrifying start to be all out for 173 against Delhi Daredevils in their must-win IPL game, but Hussey felt the score was above par.
"I thought 170 was a par score and anything above was over par. We were hoping to get a few more runs but Delhi fought back really well, got some crucial wickets and slowed down the scoring.
"Possibly we could have scored 200 (after the fine start) but this is T20 cricket and you have to keep attacking and unfortunately can lose wickets along the way. A couple of the batsmen were caught on the boundary rope. We would have liked to add a few more runs, but we all saw it was still a very good score on that pitch."
Hussey said the way MI had fought back after losing five games on the trot in the UAE has indicated the team s character.
"We have fought extremely hard and showed tremendous character to be in the tournament after losing first five matches. It shows character to fight back. After 5 losses it would have been easy to put our heads down, feel sorry for ourselves, maybe just give up. But everyone worked hard and we managed to play some very good cricket in India and we are still in with a chance at this stage."