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Hussey targets early wickets

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Mike Hussey

Mike Hussey continued his fine form with another half-century, but it was England who once again ended the day on top

Mike Hussey admitted Australia require quick wickets on the second morning of the third Ashes Test after they were dismissed for 268 on day one.

Hussey was one of three batsmen to pass 50, along with Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson, as the hosts staged a recovery from the depths of 69 for five on a sweltering day at the WACA.

But England, who reached stumps on 29 without loss, will certainly be the happier side after their bowlers justified Andrew Strauss’ decision to bowl first after winning the toss.

Hussey said: “It was tough conditions out there, especially early on with the new ball and the moisture in the pitch, but I have played in a few matches at the WACA where first-innings innings totals have been in the mid-200s so I don’t think we are out of it altogether.

“We have to bowl well early tomorrow and get some wickets.”

When asked if his side had recorded a below-par total, Hussey responded: “After the start we had, probably not. We would have been happy to take it.

“It was hard work for most of the day. Even well after lunch the ball was still seaming around. For us, we started quite well with the ball tonight and with some luck tomorrow we can make some inroads.”

England’s batsmen will now look to push home their side’s advantage by building a substantial first-innings lead.

“It tends to be hard work early in your innings here at the WACA,” added Hussey. “But if you can get through that initial period then you can score quite quickly.

“The pitch probably had a little more in it than the ones I have played on in the past, but certainly once you get in you feel as though you have some good scoring options."

Australia elected to leave out left-arm spinner Michael Beer and instead went with a four-man pace attack made up of Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Johnson, but Hussey does not feel the lack of a frontline spinner will prove crucial.

“I think looking at the pitch it has a lot of grass on it and maybe and it came down to who they thought would get more wickets from the fourth bowling option - a seamer or a spinner,” he said.

“That’s the way they decided to go and we need to back that up 100%. We have good artillery there and we need to make sure we use them well tomorrow.”

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