Sibling rivals aiming for shared honours
The early cricketing days for Mike and David Hussey make this summer's fall-out between Australia and India appear like a tea party.
The pair could on Friday night become the first brothers to play for Australia since Steve and Mark Waugh last did six years ago, if both get the nod for the Twenty20 blockbuster against India at the MCG.
If selected, David, 30, will fulfil a long-held dream to represent his country and follow his older brother, 32, into the national team.
But it was long ago in the back yard where their fierce competitive instincts were developed, in encounters more akin to trench warfare than the average rivalry between cricket-mad brothers.
"They were very, very heated," David recalled.
"I would bowl for hours and hours and he wouldn't go out and it would end with me running around the back yard and throwing a bit of a tantrum."
Mike remembers things slightly differently.
"They were pretty brutal, we were constantly at each other and it would often end up in fights," he said.
"David would never go out and it would always end up me threatening to bash him up."
While Mike has been a constant and successful member of the Australian side for the past two years, David's selection in the Twenty20 squad is reward for several seasons of excellent limited-overs results.
"It's always been my goal to play for Australia, so hopefully it can happen and can be a special night for me with my parents flying over," he said.
The last time the Hussey brothers played alongside each other was three summers ago, when they represented Australia A against the West Indies and Pakistan.
They rarely played together as juniors, other than the stoushes at home.
Although they could bat together on Friday night, Mike and David Hussey are different cricketers: left-hander to right-hander, strokemaker to hitter, non-walker to walker and Western Australian to Victorian, following David's relocation to Melbourne seven years ago.
Both are still ultra-competitive, but Mike is hopeful the sibling rivalry will not resurface, given the current climate.
"I don't want to become the first player suspended for beating up their brother in an international match, that mightn't be the best look," he said.