Featured News | 24th June 2011
With the distinction of a County Championship win as skipper last summer etched on his CV, Chris Read knows more than a thing or two about leading a side into battle.
So when he speaks glowingly of the job David Hussey has done in leading Notts Outlaws in t20 cricket, you know it is praise that is well deserved.
There is certainly no arguing with the Australian's record at the helm in the shortest form of the game during his time at Trent Bridge.
In 2010, the Outlaws won ten of their 16 group games to finish runners-up in the North Group behind Warwickshire Bears.
They then won their knock-out quarter-final against Sussex Sharks, only to lose a rain-affected semi-final on Finals Day at the Rose Bowl against Somerset Sabres.
This time out, Notts have been equally impressive ahead of tonight's ninth game of the group stages against the Leicestershire Foxes at Trent Bridge, winning six of their eight matches to date.
Read feels much of the credit for that should go to the Victoria batsman and said: "I think David Hussey's captaincy in the first half of the t20 groups has been top drawer.
"He came and did the job last year and I thought he did fantastically well and he's doing the same job again this year.
"He is working really well with the bowlers; the amount of work he does at mid-off, speaking to the bowlers and about field placings shows his attention to detail.
"If I'm honest, I don't think we expected to lose him and I think he expected to be here himself for the season (his last game before going to an Australia training camp ahead of their one-day series is against Lancashire on Sunday).
"It all came a little bit out of the blue and we're happy that he's back in the Australian fold. We believe he is an international player.
"It would have been nice to have him for the rest of the season as planned, but we are now making contingencies for that and we have to pull our fingers out to make sure we are covering for that."
At least Hussey will leave with the Outlaws well positioned to make progress, even if they were to lose to both Leicestershire and Lancashire.
But Notts will be looking to press home their excellent Trent Bridge form that has seen them win five out of five in front of their own fans so far.
That is a repeat of what happened so often last season with the Foxes – when Andrew McDonald took 5-13 – the only opposition team to win a t20 game in West Bridgford last summer.
"We have some nice figures at the minute and there has been some exceptional batting at the top of the order," said Read.
"I just seem to be coming in for the last few overs with the licence to have a go because of the good work those above me are doing and all credit to them.
"But the bowlers are doing a good job too. Darren Pattinson is getting wickets game on game. Samit (Patel) has been bowling beautifully in the middle, not going for runs and chipping in with wickets too.
"The young lads have also done very well. Luke Fletcher and Andy Carter have had some big overs to bowl at the death.
"We went up to Durham and lost that game which was disappointing, but other than that we have played some really good cricket.
"Generally we are happy with the way things are going because everyone has been doing their jobs and it is working nicely for us."
Read also has praise for director of cricket Mick Newell, who opted to go with two overseas batsman rather than the one batsman, one bowler employed last year with Hussey and Dirk Nannes.
Adam Voges (315 at 39.37) is the leading run scorer in this summer's competition while Hussey has 273 runs at 39.00, to lie second behind his team-mate.
Read said: "The two Australians batting for us have been exceptionally strong, so it has been a good strategy by Mick.
"Adam Voges has probably been the most under-rated player so far. He is probably grabbing the attention a little bit more now.
"He has had success in just about every game that I can remember. He's so consistent and scores at a decent rate playing proper cricket shots.
"We all know what Huss can do, he can change games like he did the other day against Durham with his 50-odd in 20-odd balls.
"They have both been great acquisitions for us during this t20 period."
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