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Hussey blames poor prep for Aussie flop

AAP logoAAP 7/11/2016 By Justin Chadwick

Former Test star Mike Hussey blames Australia's rushed preparation for their insipid display against South Africa and says the performance will heighten their stress and anxiety.

The squad only played one Sheffield Shield fixture before fronting up to the Proteas in the series-opening Test in Perth.

In Mitchell Starc's case, the paceman only managed two days of a Shield match before being thrown into the Test cauldron.

Hussey believes the preparation wasn't nearly enough to get the team battle-hardened.

Australia entered the final day of the first Test requiring a record 539 in their second innings to secure an unlikely victory.

"I personally think the preparation coming in has been the biggest consequence of what's happened," Hussey told ABC radio.

"One Sheffield Shield game is probably not enough.

"From a personal point of view, I would want at least two Sheffield Shield matches - good hard disciplined first-class cricket under my belt going into a Test match against a very good team.

"That's something Cricket Australia will need to look at in the future to make sure the guys have better preparation coming in."

Australia's selectors have boldly declared they will stick with the same 12-man squad for the second Test in Hobart, starting on November 12.

Allrounder Mitch Marsh is the player most under the pump after returning just 0 and 26 in Perth.

Paceman Peter Siddle could be squeezed out of the XI by 12th man Joe Mennie.

Australia haven't started a home summer with a Test loss since 1988.

Hussey said it was important the squad clear their minds before fronting up for Hobart.

"I know the guys would have been feeling a lot of stress and anxiety coming into the Test and it's probably only going to be heightened even more now," he said.

"So each player needs to get away in their own way, try to deal with it and put this behind them and come into Hobart with a positive mindset.

"And they need to eliminate all those external distractions, like the media distractions and all the negativity around the team."

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