Cricket's lucky charm: Brothers in arms
It must have been a very proud moment for the families of Michael and David Hussey, or Irfan and Yusuf Pathan for that matter, when the brothers jointly guided their sides to recent victories. But it was not for the first time in cricket history to see siblings play together in a team.
<p>It must have been a very proud moment for the families of Michael and David Hussey, or Irfan and Yusuf Pathan for that matter, when the brothers jointly guided their sides to recent victories. But it was not for the first time in cricket history to see siblings play together in a team. The Chappell trio of Ian, Greg and Trevor; Waugh brothers (Mark and Steve); Andy-Grant Flower; Hanif, Sadiq and Mushtaq Mohammad, so on and so forth....</p> <p>Since the list looks endless, <strong>CricketNDTV.com</strong> takes a brief look at the brothers who are taking contemporary cricket by storm.</p>
<p>The older of the two, Michael Hussey, made his international debut at the age of 28. Making his ODI debut in 2004, Mike got his first Test not before November 2005. And in this short span, his consistency and his skills got him the title of 'Mr. Cricket'. Averaging over 55 in both ODIs and Tests, Mike Hussey has become an indispensable asset for the Australian team. </p> <p>While Mike was making noise the world over with his bat, it was his younger brother David who got more moolah in the T20 extravaganza called Indian Premier League. Some gossipmongers suggested it was confusion in the name that gave the little brother a heavier wallet, but David hit them across the boundary with his splendid performance in the IPL. Another reward came his way when he got a place in the ODI side.</p> <p>Immensely talented, the Hussey brothers had to score heavily to convince the selectors of their potential. And it paid off. In the fourth ODI against New Zealand, the duo combined to guide Australia to a series-levelling win. With their performance, these Aussie brothers look to fill the void left by Mark and Steve Waugh.</p>
<p>Long before Yusuf Pathan made his debut, long before his talent was on public display, his star-brother Irfan Pathan had said, "If you think I am talented, then you should have a look at my elder brother." And that holds true. </p> <p>Irfan, smaller of the two, tasted both success and failures at a very young age. His shot to stardom was the Australian tour in 2003-04 followed by India's historic Pakistan tour. </p> <p>Yusuf, a regular and consistent member of the Baroda team, had to patiently wait for his chance. He supported his younger brother from the sidelines. And when he did get a chance, he grabbed it with all he had. He faced the first international delivery in the T20 World Cup final against Pakistan and he swung it back into the stands. That was the attitude of a young Team India. His cameo lasted just a few balls but he got noticed. It was really heart-warming to see the two brothers in each other’s arms, a moment, the duo described as something they had always dreamt of since childhood. </p> <p>What followed were Yusuf's exploits in the Indian Premier League. He came out of his younger brother's shadow to stand tall on the international stage. He proved his utility as an all-rounder and soon figured regularly in Dhoni's playing XI. </p> <p>In the one-off T20 match against Sri Lanka, the brothers clinched a sensational victory for India. When the two combined in the middle, India was tottering. They slammed 59 runs in 27 balls to script a win that they will remember all their lives. Their celebration was equally interesting. They embraced each other proudly, just like they did as kids when they won matches in the Baroda Mosque premises.</p>
<p>While the World No. 2 and No. 3 ODI teams boast of Husseys and Pathans, Numero Uno South Africa have the Morkels. Albie and Morne Morkel have cricket in their genes as their father Albert Morkel played for Transvaal B. </p> <p>Albie, older of the two, made his ODI debut in 2004 against New Zealand. In the recent ODI series against Australia, Albie played match-winning knocks to not only guide his side to victory but also emerge as the 'Man of the Series'. A medium pace bowler and a handy batsman, Albie has proved himself as a good all-rounder for the Proteas. Despite all his talent, he is yet to play his first Test. </p> <p>Morne, unlike his brother, made his first international appearance in a Test against India in 2006 and his performance got him a call in the ODI side. Now with these two all-rounders playing in tandem, South Africa surely have all in the family.</p>
<p>After Mark and Steve Waugh, they are the second pair of twin brothers to play international cricket together. While Hamish broke into the international scene in 2000, James had to wait a little longer. The first pair of identical twins to represent any country, Hamish and James are regular names in the Kiwi middle-order.</p> <p>Hamish made an impressive international debut against South Africa with an unbeaten 40 runs in 2000. But despite a great show, he had to wait till 2003-04 for his second chance. He was called for a home ODI series against Pakistan. He contributed heavily with the bat to clinch the series.</p> <p>James, on the other hand, after a string of successful domestic seasons, got a call in 2005 against Australia. Apart from shining in the middle-order, James has also opened for New Zealand.</p>
<p>The Kiwis are up with another pair of brothers after the Marshalls. Elder brother of demolishing batsman Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, has been included in the New Zealand squad to play two Twenty20 Internationals against India in the upcoming home series.</p> <p>Nathan, who is an off-spinner, has a scoring pair of hands with the bat. This makes him an asset in the slam-bang version of the game. Nathan, who has an exceptional first-class record, had his first brush with international cricket in T20 World Cup and that was not a pleasant one. He scored just one run and didn't get a chance to bowl.</p> <p>However the younger brother, Brendon, made a quick mark in the international cricket with his stupendous talent. The wicketkeeper-batsman has an outstanding ability to pulverize the opposition attacks. While many may disagree, Brendon's attacking style puts him in the league of Adam Gilchrist, MS Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara, who are as safe behind the wicket as dangerous they are in front of it. Playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, he had set the stage of the inaugural Indian Premier League on fire with a blazing knock of 158 not out.</p> <p>Now, it remains to be seen if Nathan can outshine his younger brother if given a chance.</p>