The West

Mike Hussey has had so many turning points that he is about to come full circle.

There was the last-minute call-up for WA in 1999 when he scored a century, took wickets and forced a run-out to finally nail a permanent one-day position.

There was the move to Northamptonshire in 2001 where the dross he received from county bowlers helped him develop a savage pull shot that delivered triple centuries in three successive seasons.

There was WA selector Wayne Hill's decision to drop him near the end of the 2002-03 season, sharpening Hussey's focus to such an extent that the axe would never fall on him again.

The fifth Test century at The Oval in 2009 that extended his Test career.

The Sheffield Shield century at the MCG a year later that saved his Test spot.

Now it is about to end where it started. Hussey will complete the season for WA while he contemplates whether to play on next year.

He has had a career in two parts so dissimilar that they could be the record of two brothers rather than one individual.

There was the career of 77 consecutive Sheffield Shield matches, many as a dour opener who was reliable but did not expand his wings until well after his apprenticeship.

And there was the 78 consecutive Tests, a period that started with such majesty that he was averaging above 100 for a while and saw him become a byword for consistency, versatility and reliability.

No one has surpassed his work ethic, though Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting may have equalled it, with no better example than before the 2011 World Cup when he worked around the clock to recover from a hamstring tear.

The evidence is in his lean frame, the body of a middle-distance runner or country boy conscripted for king and empire, and topped with a smear of sunscreen splashed emphatically across his beak to signal his intention to be in the middle until the next break.

Few batsmen in the world have his range - watchful defender, late-innings rampager, scamperer of impossible runs, dreamer of the unimaginable, achiever of the inconceivable.

Like the last-day run chase at Adelaide Oval in 2006 when an impossible Ashes victory became reality. Hussey hit the winning runs that day, the best feeling he has had in 18 years in the game.

Hussey, at 37, departs as the survivor of an age when Australia expected to beat all comers and rarely failed to win handsomely before times changed and winning, even competing, became a challenge.

His is a career almost without blemish, though he got on the wrong side of his WA teammates in 2002 when he claimed the bulk of the $200,000 he won for hitting a sponsor's sign at the WACA Ground.

Hussey learnt from that experience to the extent that his claim yesterday that his strongest characteristic was being a good team man could pass without argument.

The West Australian

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