Hussey initially played for his native Western Australian Warriors, and his career total of 6471 runs ranks eighth in the list of that state's run-makers in the Sheffield Shield. He then moved to England, where in July 2001 he scored an unbeaten 329 (a Northamptonshire club record) at Wantage Road in his side's 633 for six declared on the way to a 10-wicket victory. He later captained Northamptonshire. In August 2003 he surpassed his own Northamptonshire record, when he scored 331 not out against Somerset at Taunton.
When Hussey was playing for Australia A, the Australian reserve team, Allan Border once jokingly suggested he get match practice by staying in the nets for a full six hours; suprisingly, Hussey went on to do just that.
Hussey earned a Cricket Australia contract in 2004–05 after excelling in the ING Cup. Statistically, Hussey's international career was very successful, with his career batting average in Tests being 51.52 and in ODIs 48.15. He was a very occasional medium pace bowler, bowling only 98 overs in his Test career, 23 of them in 2008. He was brought into the attack usually to give the pace bowlers a rest, although he was once brought on in India to stop Ricky Ponting getting a one-match ban for a slow over rate. On 28 December 2008, Day 3 of the Boxing Day test, he got his first test wicket, Paul Harris caught by Mitchell Johnson. He ended with figures of 1/22. He took two wickets in One Day Internationals.
Hussey debuted for the Australian One-day team against India on 1 February 2004 at his home WACA ground in Perth. In this match Hussey made 17* helping Australia win the match by five wickets.
In the third Super Series match on 9 October 2005, Hussey became the first person to hit the roof of the Telstra Dome (the ICC World XI's Makhaya Ntini was the bowler in this case). On 6 February 2006, he tied with Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds and Brett Lee on 22 votes for the Australian One-Day Player of the Year at the annual Allan Border Medal presentation. However, Symonds was ruled ineligible after an alcohol-related indiscretion, and after Lee and Gilchrist were eliminated on countback, Hussey was named the outright winner. Hussey had also come second overall in the Allan Border medal his first year in international cricket. On 3 November 2006, Hussey became the ICC's ODI Player of the Year at the annual ICC Awards in Mumbai. He was also named in its World ODI XI in 2006 and as 12th man in 2007.
On 18 September 2006, owing to Australia's rotation policy, and in Ricky Ponting's absence, Hussey captained Australia for the first time in the DLF Cup second round match against West Indies at Kuala Lumpur. Australia lost the game by three wickets, but Hussey and Brad Haddin put together a sixth-wicket partnership of 165, a world record for that wicket in all ODIs.
In the 2007 Commonwealth Bank Triangular Series, Australia were in trouble while chasing a target against England, and in a later match New Zealand. Both times Hussey guided the Australians to victory, and on both occasions was the only recognised batsman at the crease at the end of the match.
Hussey led Australia in the Chappell–Hadlee Trophy after selectors rested captain Ricky Ponting and vice-captain Adam Gilchrist. The first match against New Zealand saw a 10-wicket loss, the first time Australia had lost by this margin in their One Day International history, although Hussey top scored with 42 off 96 balls. Hussey's record as captain was further marred when Australia lost the top place in the ODI rankings to South Africa for the first time since they were introduced in 2002 after losing to New Zealand two days later. Hussey top-scored for Australia with an aggressive 105 off 84 before another loss in the final match left him with a captaincy record of four losses from four matches.
In early 2007, Hussey had a major slump in form with an average of only eight in over 10 innings, which scarcely improved in the World Cup where he gained an average of 17.4 with 87 runs. However, this was also due to a lack of opportunities to bat because of Australia's top-order dominance.
In the fourth ODI in the Commonwealth Bank Series played at the MCG on 10 February 2008 against India, Australia's top order and middle order collapsed, which saw Hussey come in at 5/72 with the side in deep trouble. He made a 53-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Brett Lee (which was the highest partnership of the innings) until Lee fell to Pathan. Hussey batted through the rest of the innings, making an unbeaten 65 off 88 being the only Australian to really contribute to the poor total of 159.
In the first ODI of the 2008 Bangladesh ODI series, Hussey top-scored with 85 and received the man-of-the-match award. This coincided with his rise to second in the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI player rankings.
After initially being left out, Michael Hussey was named in the Australian 2011 World Cup squad as the replacement of Doug Bollinger after recovering from hamstring injury that needed surgery.
On 19 February 2012, Michael Hussey became the 13th batsman to score 5000 runs for Australia in ODI cricket, when he scored 59 runs against India at the Gabba.
Hussey made his Test debut at the Gabba in Brisbane on 3 November 2005, as a replacement for fellow Western Australian batsman Justin Langer in the Australia vs. West Indies series. In the first innings Hussey managed only one run, caught by Denesh Ramdin off the bowling of Daren Powell. In the second innings Hussey turned in an unimpressive 29. In the following Test, at Bellerive Oval (Tasmania) he scored 137 and 31* and was named man of the match. In the third Test at Adelaide Oval, Hussey was moved down the order to number five to accommodate the return of Langer. He made 133 not out in the first innings and 30 not out in the second, bringing his Test average to 120.
On being moved down the order, Hussey proved invaluable to the Australian team, often building impressive partnerships with the tail-end batsmen, the most impressive being a 107-run 10th-wicket partnership with Glenn McGrath in the second Test in South Africa's 2005–06 tour of Australia. Hussey continued his remarkable batting with tail-enders against Bangladesh in their Spring 2006 2-Test series when he and Jason Gillespie (as a nightwatchman) put together a 320-run partnership, with Hussey making a then career-best 182.
On 18 April 2006 Hussey set a record as the fastest player in terms of time to reach 1,000 Test runs. He reached the milestone in just 166 days. Hussey was also the fastest player to reach the top 10 of the LG ICC cricket ratings. He maintained an exceptional average of 105.25 in the 2006–07 Ashes series, which Australia won 5–0.
In the second Test of the 2006–07 Ashes, Hussey made 91 before he was bowled (playing on) by Matthew Hoggard and fell nine runs short of his fifth Test century. In the second innings Australia was chasing 168 off 35 overs for victory for a chance to go 2–0 up in the series. After the fall of two early wickets, Ponting and Hussey, who was promoted to No. 4 instead of Damien Martyn, formed a steady partnership to guide Australia to victory. Ponting fell on 49 but the battle was well over. Hussey scored the winning runs and made 61 not out from 66 balls. His partner, Michael Clarke, scored 21 not out.
On 16 December Hussey scored 103 runs off 156 balls—his fifth Test century—on the third day of the third match of the series at the WACA Ground in Perth. On 6 January 2007 after Australia's 5–0 Ashes whitewash, Justin Langer anointed Hussey to be the next leader of the team's victory song Under the Southern Cross I Stand.
In the first Test of the Warne-Muralidaran Trophy against Sri Lanka, Hussey scored his sixth Test century with a score of 133 runs off 249 balls. He was also part of a record-breaking fourth-wicket partnership with Clarke. Their 245-run partnership is the third-highest partnership for Australia against Sri Lanka in Test matches. In the following match of the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy, Hussey scored his seventh Test century with a score of 132 and following it up in the second innings with 34 not out.
On 6 January 2008, at the SCG, Hussey scored his eighth Test century against India. This was the first time he scored more than 50 runs at that ground. He ended up not out on 145, before Ponting declared. However, in the first innings of the next Test he scored his first Test duck.
Hussey claimed his first Test wicket against South Africa on the third day of the 2008 Boxing Day Test at the MCG, when Paul Harris skied a ball over Mitchell Johnson's head and the latter ran back and took a running catch as the ball fell down past his shoulder.
Hussey played in all five of Ashes Test matches in England in 2009, scoring 276 runs in 8 innings. This gave him an average of 34.5. This included a century in Australia's second innings in the Fifth and final Test at The Oval where he scored 121, potentially saving his Test career after a long run without a century. He also scored two half centuries at Lord's in the Second Test, which England won, and in the Third Test at Edgbaston, which ended in a draw. He also took five catches in the field.
In the summer of 2009/10 Hussey scored his tenth test century. Australia were playing Pakistan and were losing badly when Hussey proved yet again that he was brilliant with the tail end, scoring an unbeaten 134. This innings with Peter Siddle who scored 38 potentially saved the match as Australia went from a terrible position to a reasonable one and ended up winning the match with Michael Hussey named man of the match for his heroic effort.
In the first Test of the Frank Worrell Trophy against the West Indies in 2009 at the Gabba, Hussey took his second Test wicket after Dwayne Bravo hooked a short ball straight to deep backward square leg which was caught comfortably by Ben Hilfenhaus.
Prior to the 2010/11 Ashes series, Hussey was experiencing poor form in the warm-up games and many were speculating that he should be dropped, but he was not. In the first test, he scored a magnificent 195, his highest test score, in a partnership of 307 with Brad Haddin, the highest partnership ever at the Gabba, later broken by Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott in the next innings; the test ended in a draw. In the second test, he scored 93 in the first innings following up with a 52 in the next. The next match, he helped Australia to a 267 run win scoring 61 and 116.
In the 2011 tour (3 test series) of Sri Lanka, he scored 95 & 15 in the first test which rewarded him with the Man of the Match honour. In the second test he made 142 and took two wickets, including a vital one in Kumar Sangakkara, and took a spectacular one-handed full length diving catch in the gully and also being rewarded with the Man of the Match honour. In the third test, he made 118 in the 1st innings.
In the first Test Match of 2012, Hussey scored an unbeaten 150* to help the Aussies to 659/4(dec). He was involved in a 344 run partnership with Michael Clarke, who managed to score an unbeaten 329*. He was praised for his efforts and he once again cemented himself in the team after being under some serious pressure from critics and selectors.
Hussey started the 2012/13 Australian summer well with a century against South Africa in the first test. A partnership with Michael Clarke proved to be vital, as the pair put on more than 200 runs during the fourth and fifth days. This feat was repeated in the 2nd test with another century, and a 272 run partnership with Clarke.
He played his final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the last of Australia's three match series against Sri Lanka. In the first innings he was run out by Michael Clarke for 25, while in the second he guided Australia to victory with 27*.
Hussey was part of Australia's 2007 ICC World Twenty20 squad which was knocked out in the semi-finals. He played in all of Australia's matches, scoring 65 runs with a best of 37 before injuring a hamstring, which prevented his participation in Australia's tour of India that followed.
In May 2010, he scored 60 runs off 24 balls in the semi-final of the ICC World Twenty20 to help defeat Pakistan and secure a place for Australia in the final. It is considered to be one of the most stunning run chases in Twenty20 cricket.
Hussey played for the IPL team Chennai Super Kings, and he became the second batsman to score a century in the competition, after New Zealand's Brendon McCullum. He scored 116 not out against the team Kings XI Punjab.
Hussey chose to play for his Indian Premier League team Chennai Super Kings instead of his Australian state side Western Warriors in the inaugural Champions Twenty20 League although the 2008 event was eventually cancelled and neither side qualified in 2009.
Hussey due to national duties was unable to play the second edition of the Indian Premier League.
Hussey joined the Chennai Super Kings for the second half of the 2010 Indian Premier League along with fellow team-mate Doug Bollinger to reverse the fortunes of the side which eventually went on to win the title that year.
In the 2010 Champions League Twenty20, Michael Hussey replaced Matthew Hayden and opened the innings for the side along with Murali Vijay. He played a crucial knock in the group-clash against the Chevrolet Warriors which was a must-win game for the Chennai Super Kings. Hussey's innings fetched him the Man of the match award and helped the Chennai Super Kings to proceed to the knockout stage where they got to win the league altogether.
In IPL 2011 he was the fifth highest run getter in all IPL matches. He scored 492 runs from his fourteen innings with his highest score is 81 not out against the RCB. He has scored four half centuries and three man of the matches as well.
Hussey stayed with Chennai through to 2013. In the 2014 he was picked up the Mumbai Indians in auction, but was released from his contract at the end of the season. He then returned to the Chennai Superkings for the 2015 season. As Brendon McCullum had to leave for his national duties, Hussey had to open for the Chennai Super Kings in the last stage of the tournament.
Hussey is married to Amy and has four children. His father is a former athletics coach and his younger brother, David, is also a professional cricketer who plays for Victoria, Nottinghamshire, Chennai Super Kings and Australia. Prior to his entry into first-class cricket, Hussey studied to become a science teacher. He is also a fan of Manchester United due to his dad. Hussey attended Whitford Catholic Primary School in his early years and later attended Prendiville Catholic College in the northern suburbs of Perth. After finishing school he won a scholarship to the Australian Cricket Academy, where his contemporaries included Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie.
Hussey has the nickname Mr Cricket, due to his encyclopaedic knowledge of his sport. He has repeatedly stated that he dislikes the nickname finding it "a bit embarrassing". England rival Andrew Flintoff and Graeme Swann's brother Alec were reportedly responsible for coining it. The soubriquet appeared on the back of his shirt in the Twenty20 international against South Africa in 2006, in which all the players displayed their nicknames. During the 2007 Twenty20 against England, however, he was seen with "Huss" on his shirt instead, further suggesting he is fed up with the tag Mr Cricket. Nevertheless, the nickname features prominently in his television ads for the national real estate chain L.J. Hooker.
He announced his retirement from international cricket after the 2012 Boxing Day Test at Melbourne. His last Test appearance was the New Year’s fixture against Sri Lanka at the SCG, starting on 3 January 2013. He planned to play out the rest of the Australian summer in limited overs cricket but was surprisingly dropped with Australian selectors planning for the 2015 world cup and to give Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja an opportunity at ODI level. Hussey explained that his motivation for his retirement was to spend more time with his family. Hussey also delayed his announcement until before the Sydney Test in 2013, fearing that he would have been dropped before the Australian summer season was over.
Hussey is currently working as a consultant for South African Cricket Team when SA play India: South African cricket team in India in 2015–16.
Hussey also worked as a batting consultant for Australia for the 2016 ICC World Twenty20.
Following his retirement from the Big Bash League, Hussey was appointed the role of Director of Cricket for the Sydney Thunder. He is a cricket commentator in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the 2016 season.