We will give Dhoni a tough time: Michael Hussey

Melbourne: Beleaguered Australian batsman Michael Hussey has vowed to give a tough time to Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who happens to be his captain in IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, during the Test series starting here on December 26.

"He`s a great guy to have around. He`s very calm, relaxed and takes pressure off the players. He has enjoyed great success but we would give him a very tough time in Australia," said Hussey about his Indian captain who is looking to be the first ever to claim a Test series in Australia in 64 years.

Dhoni already has created a record of sorts in Australia when he became the leader of the first Indian team to beat Australia and claim the triangular one-day series in 2008.

Hussey also hoped that the iconic Sachin Tendulkar wouldn`t be able to score his 100th international hundred in Australia — though unlike others he doesn`t believe the Indian is under pressure because of it.

"I hope he doesn`t get it against Australia. He`s been a number one player for so long, it`s a credit to his character, but I hope he doesn`t get his 100th hundred in Australia."

"I don`t think he is under any pressure though. He knows his own game so well. He has been under pressure for so long.The way the public has been with Tendulkar iIndia, he would be able to handle it, no problem."

Hussey also disagreed with former Australian captain Mark Taylor that Indian batsmen could find the going tough in Australian conditions.

"They have a very experienced line up. They`ve played here before, they adapt very quickly to these conditions. They are class players and we would have to bowl extremely well to get on top of them."

Hussey also marked out Zaheer Khan as the main threat from India and claimed the left-arm paceman would need as much watching with the new ball as he would be with the older ball.

"We did focus on him in our batting plan. The bowling machine was used during training, the bowling coach Justin Langer cranked up the pace, there are two-piece balls, it swung a little bit more.

"We have seen Zaheer bowl before and know what he likes to swing. Still he is a class bowler, he`s is a threat with the new ball and when it is old. We would try to be very well prepared but certainly he`s going to be a tough challenge."

Former India coach Greg Chappell has been requisitioned to help Australia prepare for the Indian challenge and Hussey welcomed the move.

"He`s had good experience of India as a coach. He`s had the inside knowledge and it could be invaluable for us."

Hussey`s selection for the first Test at Melbourne at best is borderline as the left-hander has had a miserable time with the bat in recent times, scoring only 78 runs from last seven innings.

"I feel like I am in a good place mentally, batting well in nets, but sometimes you need a bit of luck to have a good start in the series." It`s just the way the game goes. There were some tough conditions in South Africa, so you needed some luck to go.

Here, on those two pitches also, you needed luck. I would look to work hard early in my innings. If one goes through the initial period, it does become easy from then on," he said.