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Balancing emotion key for Aussies

Sportal January 3, 2013, 7:58 am
Michael Hussey

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Michael Clarke has dismissed fears the emotion surrounding Michael Hussey's farewell game could leave the Australians vulnerable when the SCG Test against Sri Lanka gets underway on Thursday.

Hussey will bow out of international cricket following the third Test and the Australians are eager to give Mr Cricket a memorable finish to his career with a series sweep of the tourists.

The Australians produced their worst performance of the summer for Ricky Ponting's farewell in Perth against South Africa, with the Proteas claiming the Test and the series with a crushing win.

But Clarke rejected suggestions the Ponting factor contributed to his side's poor performance and is confident the team can give Hussey a fairytale send off.

"If anything it (Ponting's farewell) probably gave us more ammunition and fire in the belly to go out in Perth and have success," Clarke said.

"Unfortunately we just got beat by a better team in that Test match and this will be no different.

"A lot of guys will be emotional that Mr Cricket is finishing up Test match cricket after this game. He's played nearly 80 tests so he will definitely be missed.

"Our goal is the same as it was for Punter; we want to send (Hussey) out on a high.

"Hopefully the result's different than it was in Perth and I'd love to see Huss go out with a win and then hopefully another big hundred."

Clarke knows all about posting big scores over the past 18 months, and hit a memorable 329 not out against India in Sydney last year.

The brilliant knock kick-started a record-breaking year for the 31-year-old, who set the record of most runs scored by an Australian in a calendar year, which also included three double-centuries.

"That was a very special day," Clarke said of his triple century.

"I hadn't really had time to reflect on it until I walked out onto the ground (this week)... it brought back some great memories."

Asked about taking on added responsibility now Australia's batting line-up will have a much different look moving forward, Clarke said: "My goals haven't changed.

"My hunger for success has probably only increased since hearing that Michael Hussey is going to retire.

"I know I have a huge responsibility as one of the leaders in this team to make sure I'm performing and leading from the front."

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