Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day December 4, 2011

New Zealand 'would love' Hughes retention

107

Australia's fidgety opening batsman Phillip Hughes may be the best thing going for a battling New Zealand outfit right now. After Chris Martin had Hughes dropped in the slips from a typical edge, then caught in the gully from a flailing cut next ball in the hosts' chase of a mere 19 to wrap up the first Test, the visiting captain Ross Taylor said of the Australia squad for Hobart: "I'd love him to be in the team."

This was a damning statement, but a true one, for Martin's bounce and angle caused Hughes all manner of trouble in both innings, and allowed New Zealand a way into the Australian batting order. The national selectors must make a difficult call on Hughes sooner or later, and Taylor's enthusiasm about the 23-year-old as an opponent, when most err towards the respectful when discussing the opposition, will be ringing in their ears.

"If Hughes plays in Tasmania then obviously Chris Martin will be bowling at him and hopefully Martin Guptill takes a third catch too," Taylor said. "We had a lot of video footage of all the Australian players and Hughes got caught at second, third slip and gully a lot in the Ashes and in South Africa. That was definitely an area we wanted to target, and with the way Chris Martin bowls, he bowls across the left-hander."

Since returning to the Australian XI during the Ashes last summer, Hughes has spent countless hours working with the assistant coach Justin Langer, trying to eradicate the problems outside off stump that have recurred all too often against diligent new ball bowling. But he remains as susceptible as ever to the presentation of a crooked bat and a resultant edge to the slips, accounting for a Test record that features three centuries but too many brief stays at the crease. In 17 innings since the Ashes recall, Hughes has passed 36 only twice.

Hughes' position is complicated further by the fact that the captain, Michael Clarke, is his staunchest defender in public and his closest friend in the team. As a selector, Clarke is part of the discussions that must be edging closer to removing Hughes from the XI, but he is refusing to budge in his support.

"I look forward to a press conference where I don't get asked about Phillip Hughes," Clarke said after Australia's victory. "Once again, not concerning for me. I have confidence that Hughesy will come out in Hobart and perform. He got a hundred not that long ago, 80-odd not that long ago. I've seen Hughesy cut that ball for four a number of times. I'm sure he would be disappointed personally that he hasn't made any runs in this test match, but I'm confident he can put his hand up in Hobart and get a big score for us."

Clarke said he had seen plenty of improvement in Hughes' technique since his first bout of problems, against Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff in England in 2009.

"I think his technique has improved out of sight," Clarke said. "Every one of us has deficiencies in technique. And these days with the footage you can get on players, it's very easy to find out what those deficiencies are. It's no different for any batsman. I have seen a lot of improvement. I continue to see him scoring runs. Probably not as consistent as he would like, but he's still scoring them. His record for NSW is better than any 23-year-old in this country. He's scored three great hundreds for Australia and I'm confident he can score a lot more."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zenboomerang on December 7, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    @Meety... lol... After the 1st Test in SL we were above them... Your point?... Then I picked out Warner/Khawaja/Hussey/Marsh & Watson as openers & all you could come up with is a lame "Booney wouldn't of flinched"about Marsh... lol...

  • Meety on December 6, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    @zenboomerang - SL was ranked above us prior to the Test series, Marsh didn't look very composed when he got nutted in the first test against the Saffas, Booney wouldn't of flinched. @ AidanFX - agree its more of confidence v technical issue, as for the 2nd innings, I tend to think they were trying to wrap the match up in 2 overs. I would be more interested in the mode of dismissal in the 1st innings. In Saffaland, I thought he received some absolute corkers! @dsig3 - I actually disagree re: Sehwag. Hidden behind the swinging 6s is an organised defence better than most players in the world. When he first came on the scene - he was a Sachin clone, (a picture of perfection in defense). Since then he only seems to want to smash 4s & 6s, so I'd say his biggest issue is between his ears.

  • RandyOZ on December 5, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    I'd love another 4 tests against NZ, so we can wallop them like the poms in 07.

  • bumsonseats on December 5, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    nice to see some of the usual suspects coming down from their giddy heights. for a while was getting quit girlish. i did not see much of this test, did one of the teams change to a higher ranking, it was nz was it not the 8th team in the icc rankings. but played more like the team that should have beat them last month zim. dpk

  • Biggus on December 5, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Many, many moons ago I played in my school's first XI. If one of our openers had been dismissed in the same fashion as Hughes, the very ball after he had just been fortuitously dropped at slip, he would have been dropped from the team for the next match and told to 'have a good hard look at himself'. That would also apply in the many teams I've played with since. Ross Taylor's comments are irrelevant really, and getting defensive about them is a mistake. Frankly I think he's right-Hughes has the most problematic technique I think I've ever seen in a first class player, let alone one who is lauded as a future test star. News travels fast in the international cricket scene and no sensible or capable test bowler will feed him the stuff short and wide outside off that he happily murders. His technique would be problematic in an all-rounder batting at say number 7 or 8, let alone a test opener. I don't see him as a solution to our opening problems I'm afraid.

  • stevewaughsbox on December 5, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    This is staggering. Guys like Hughes are going to be part of the future of the test team. Guys like Ponting are not and should be the first to make way, not the younger talent. As @disco_bob rightly points out, its a bit rich for Taylor to sneer at Phil Hughes, 14 and a duck and dropped an important catch at an important time in the game. But when you have nothing but problems, very little upside anywhere and have just endured a complete rogering, the best course of action is to deflect attention away from yourself. Hopefully Hughes comes out in Hobart and makes them pay for their sneers.

  • spence1324 on December 5, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    Do not see why the Australia's are getting shirted with Nz talking the talk,as that has been a australian game for as long as I can remember.Case in point was the last ashes series when apparently according to the aus media,siddle and M Johnson england were running sacred of them, well the only thing Australia run into was a pancaking they have never forgotten LOL !

  • mehulmatrix on December 5, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    Again shows the inconsistency in the Aus selections. Guys w/o enough chances or bad performance were dropped (in bowling or batting department). Think Clarke has a role to play in this. Really surprised to see aussies go these ways on selection issue from selections to dropping someone.

  • Dashgar on December 5, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    Interesting little fact, Taylor made less runs than Hughes and was also out to the same bowler twice. Hughes wouldn't have had identical dismissals either if Taylor could catch. Maybe the Kiwi's should keep their mouths shut or risk looking more stupid than they already do.

  • popcorn on December 5, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    THIS is the BEST TIME to try out the following, with an eye on the future: 1. Drop Phil Hughes - PERMANENTLY. 2. David Warner and Usman Khawaja to open. 3. Ricky Ponting at No.3 - his favourite place. 4. Daniel Christian at No.4 - he is a bowler too. 5. Clarke at No.5 - his favourite place, where he has scored the MAXIMUM centuries. 6. Hussey at No.6 7. Haddin at No.7 8,9,10 - between Siddle,Pattinson and Starc 11. Nathan Lyon.

  • zenboomerang on December 7, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    @Meety... lol... After the 1st Test in SL we were above them... Your point?... Then I picked out Warner/Khawaja/Hussey/Marsh & Watson as openers & all you could come up with is a lame "Booney wouldn't of flinched"about Marsh... lol...

  • Meety on December 6, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    @zenboomerang - SL was ranked above us prior to the Test series, Marsh didn't look very composed when he got nutted in the first test against the Saffas, Booney wouldn't of flinched. @ AidanFX - agree its more of confidence v technical issue, as for the 2nd innings, I tend to think they were trying to wrap the match up in 2 overs. I would be more interested in the mode of dismissal in the 1st innings. In Saffaland, I thought he received some absolute corkers! @dsig3 - I actually disagree re: Sehwag. Hidden behind the swinging 6s is an organised defence better than most players in the world. When he first came on the scene - he was a Sachin clone, (a picture of perfection in defense). Since then he only seems to want to smash 4s & 6s, so I'd say his biggest issue is between his ears.

  • RandyOZ on December 5, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    I'd love another 4 tests against NZ, so we can wallop them like the poms in 07.

  • bumsonseats on December 5, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    nice to see some of the usual suspects coming down from their giddy heights. for a while was getting quit girlish. i did not see much of this test, did one of the teams change to a higher ranking, it was nz was it not the 8th team in the icc rankings. but played more like the team that should have beat them last month zim. dpk

  • Biggus on December 5, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Many, many moons ago I played in my school's first XI. If one of our openers had been dismissed in the same fashion as Hughes, the very ball after he had just been fortuitously dropped at slip, he would have been dropped from the team for the next match and told to 'have a good hard look at himself'. That would also apply in the many teams I've played with since. Ross Taylor's comments are irrelevant really, and getting defensive about them is a mistake. Frankly I think he's right-Hughes has the most problematic technique I think I've ever seen in a first class player, let alone one who is lauded as a future test star. News travels fast in the international cricket scene and no sensible or capable test bowler will feed him the stuff short and wide outside off that he happily murders. His technique would be problematic in an all-rounder batting at say number 7 or 8, let alone a test opener. I don't see him as a solution to our opening problems I'm afraid.

  • stevewaughsbox on December 5, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    This is staggering. Guys like Hughes are going to be part of the future of the test team. Guys like Ponting are not and should be the first to make way, not the younger talent. As @disco_bob rightly points out, its a bit rich for Taylor to sneer at Phil Hughes, 14 and a duck and dropped an important catch at an important time in the game. But when you have nothing but problems, very little upside anywhere and have just endured a complete rogering, the best course of action is to deflect attention away from yourself. Hopefully Hughes comes out in Hobart and makes them pay for their sneers.

  • spence1324 on December 5, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    Do not see why the Australia's are getting shirted with Nz talking the talk,as that has been a australian game for as long as I can remember.Case in point was the last ashes series when apparently according to the aus media,siddle and M Johnson england were running sacred of them, well the only thing Australia run into was a pancaking they have never forgotten LOL !

  • mehulmatrix on December 5, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    Again shows the inconsistency in the Aus selections. Guys w/o enough chances or bad performance were dropped (in bowling or batting department). Think Clarke has a role to play in this. Really surprised to see aussies go these ways on selection issue from selections to dropping someone.

  • Dashgar on December 5, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    Interesting little fact, Taylor made less runs than Hughes and was also out to the same bowler twice. Hughes wouldn't have had identical dismissals either if Taylor could catch. Maybe the Kiwi's should keep their mouths shut or risk looking more stupid than they already do.

  • popcorn on December 5, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    THIS is the BEST TIME to try out the following, with an eye on the future: 1. Drop Phil Hughes - PERMANENTLY. 2. David Warner and Usman Khawaja to open. 3. Ricky Ponting at No.3 - his favourite place. 4. Daniel Christian at No.4 - he is a bowler too. 5. Clarke at No.5 - his favourite place, where he has scored the MAXIMUM centuries. 6. Hussey at No.6 7. Haddin at No.7 8,9,10 - between Siddle,Pattinson and Starc 11. Nathan Lyon.

  • disco_bob on December 5, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Bracewell mouthed off before the test and ended up with 1/104 and got smacked for a pair of 4's at an economy rate of 24 in the second innings, contributed 2 runs and a duck. Taylor scored 14 and a duck, it's a bit embarrassing to still hear them mouthing off. I have faith in the new selectors. If cricket had a handicap system then we'd need to start with both openers down to give NZ a fair chance. Ours is a young team and Hughes has shown he can do the business, I say give him a fair suck of the sav.

  • jonesy2 on December 5, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Beazle -- thats funny because every single pommy batsman is justified as "walking wicket". the fact that phil hughes is better than every english batsman must be sad for you lot?

  • on December 5, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    Aus can recruit Chanderpaul as a consultant to sort out Hughes techniques.

  • TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on December 5, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    It is an indictment on the selectors that Hughes is still in the team. The guy is not good enough, period.

  • Antomann on December 5, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    Would Ross Taylor spit on Quade Cooper if he saw him in the street?

  • zenboomerang on December 5, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    There are 2 problems that Hughes has: he is inconsistant (as has been Watson) with the bat in the last 12 mths... and he hasn't addressed his defensive weaknesses that every good bowler can see... To give 2 healthy edges to the slips (in a row) in exactly the same way without adjusting his shot selection shows his lack of adaptability & game awareness that is needed at Test level... Prefer Warner/Khawaja/Hussey/Marsh as openers... With Watsons team position still up in the air, Hughes had better perform in Hobart...

  • zenboomerang on December 5, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    @Barnesy4444... Hughes current average 30.5 in his last 6 Tests (11 innings) is way below Test standard... 4 of those Tests against lower ranked teams... Indicates he is below form & needs time to work on his technique... During the same Test series both Marsh 56.8 & Khawaja 35 (with 2 n.o.'s) look more composed batsmen & have scored more runs... With selectors announcing that current form is crital in Test team selection & retention Hughes should be very concerned considering the up coming 4 Test series against India...

  • stuartk319 on December 5, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Barnesy4444; good comment, but both Ponting and Clarke were also dropped from the team early in their careers. The records show Ponting was dropped after 6 Tests for 6 mths and then there is a 4mths gap after his 18th test. Reliable replacements were readily available in the late 90s & early 00s. Makes it hard to compare. Honestly, I'm not sure what the selectors should do on this one.

  • straight_drive4 on December 5, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    @ohhhmattymatty - i beg to differ. i would say gilcrhist ended monty panesars career IN A SINGLE TEST MATCH in the 06/07 ashes test match at the WACA.

  • straight_drive4 on December 5, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    OBVIOUSLY THESE KIWIS HAVENT LEARNED THEIR LESSON. THEY CAME OUT TALKING SMACK BEFORE THE FIRST TEST ABOUT HOW THEY ARENT SCARED OF THE AUSSIES AND THEY GOT SPANKED. I HOPE PHIL HUGHES HITS A HUNDRED NOW - THAT WILL REALLY BE ROCK BOTTOM FOR THE KIWIS!!

  • NAP73 on December 5, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    Hughes has been given more than enough chances. He only scores when it is easy and I can't believe Clarke is so blind when he says his technique has improved out of sight. Is it because of the state he plays for? Please learn from the lessons with Marcus North. Finish the job with rebuilding... Marsh and Warner to open, continue with Khawaja, Watson in the middle order, don't be too optimistic with Lyon but keep him there (good balance to variety), young Cummins and Pattinson. I hope Ponting goes in the near future; he has done a good job mentoring and will be invaluable during a challenging Indian series, but time to move on thereafter. Hussey and Haddin should alo consider their long-term role after that series. Christian and Cutting could be ecxciting prospects if handled correctly. However, it still amazes me how many fitness problems Oz has, despite a dedicated fitness team. I hope a performance environment will apply across the board in the new regime recently established.

  • ruester on December 5, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    Shield Cricket must have some decent bowlers if they are better than Harmison and Flintoff JONSEY? All the test playing countries want Hughes to play at the top because he has poor technique and world class bowlers find him out all the time. Why don't Australia recall Marcus North and Steve Smith as well.... reason they are both very ordinary players and not good enough to pull on the baggy green. Hughes has also got a similar record to any number of cricketers who have not made it in test cricket. The difference between Hughes and Ponting, Sehwag etc is the three greats had a far more solid techinique. Sorry Hughes your rubbish.

  • stickman75 on December 5, 2011, 2:26 GMT

    @ Barnesy4444: that is exactly right well said sir!

  • pikk0n on December 5, 2011, 2:15 GMT

    @MattyMatty: I wonder how the English public and media treated your own Cook after being routed in the Ashes 5-0 down under. Your selectors still persisted with that bloke and look where he is now. No career is ruined here. Still early days. The irony and the hypocrisy. :)

  • jmcilhinney on December 5, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    That fact that NZ were beaten soundly doesn't negate that fact that Hughes is a bit of a liability. I think Hughes is capable of making a lot of runs but he's also capable of going cheaply a lot. I really don't think that the national team is the place to work issues in technique. Instead of going back to Shield cricket, playing the same way and then getting back into the national team and having the same issues, he should go back to Shield cricket and actually work on the issues and not come back into the national team until the problem is gone, not just until he makes Shield runs. As for Clarke's support, can we really take anything that any sportsman says in a press conference without a grain of salt? There's plenty of posturing and politicking from everyone. The fact that Clarke says he's confident that Hughes will make runs doesn't mean he will. Even if he does make runs in Hobart, the issues remain for the next test, and the next...

  • on December 5, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    Really Ross! I think he outscored you in this test match! and by a lot! Stop this trash talk and start batting!

  • Aussierise on December 5, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    I actually really like the kid (Hughes), but 18 months solid in state cricket will do him a world of good..confidence wise and technique wise. he is still young so it is not like he won't come back down the track (provided he goes away and works hard aka..michael clarke/simon katich a few years back) and still only be 24-25 years of age when he comes back in.I think he will be dropped for series coming up against India..and will spend 18-24 months out of the team..they wont risk him in the 2013 ASHES team because of the moving ball (swinging around) in England. They will need two openers who can present the full face of the bat in 2013 ASHES and they will need to play a lot straighter than Hughes does currently.The pecking order at the moment for the opening slots would be hard to go pass watson, warner, khawaja, marsh, and I would not even write off the possibility of a Hussey or Ponting stepping into an openers role alongside a Warner for the ASHES allowing Watson down the order at 4

  • EnglishArrogance on December 5, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    Between Marsh, Khawaja and Hughes, I know who I'd drop. Two have a solid technique and temprament, and one flails th ebat around outside off and doesn't seem to have the temprament of an opener.

    Alistair Cook seems to be doing as well as Sehwag.

  • Meety on December 4, 2011, 23:52 GMT

    Man Taylor better wise up quick. It's sort of OK to slag off at an opposing batsmen when you have just rounded a comfortable victory or a commanding draw, but to bag an opposing batsmen when your own side (barring 2), EPICALLY FAILED, is stupid. Ross Taylor's average against Oz, is less than Hughes's ave against NZ. So you better spend the SPARE DAY - in the nets, so you can put your money where your mouth is!

  • RandyOZ on December 4, 2011, 23:09 GMT

    I really hope hughes goes back to shield cricket and gets his head right, I would hate for him to become such a poor and embarassing opener as someone like Strauss.

  • Barnesy4444 on December 4, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    After 16 tests, 30 innings Hughes not only has a similar record to a young Ponting and Clarke but also a young Sehwag!

  • Barnesy4444 on December 4, 2011, 22:45 GMT

    After 16 tests Hughes has a similar number of runs, the same average and similar number of centuries as a young Ponting and Clarke! Give him a break, over the last 15 years Australia has forgotten what it's like for young men to break into test cricket. We got used to players coming in at age 27 in their primes, their average never dropping below 40. He has what it takes, he is just as likely to make 150 in the next test!

  • on December 4, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    The irony in all of this is that Hughes outscored Taylor for the match..

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on December 4, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    Phillip Hughes. Phillip, Phillip Hughes. My word, you are one very poor batsman! Have a group of bowlers ever ended a career as abruptly and horrificly as England's quicks have ended Hughes' career?

  • on December 4, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    Dearest Ross,

    Please keep the same 11. You were lucky to not lose by an innings. Worry about your own backyard first.

    Love, Benn.

  • stuartk319 on December 4, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    It is safest to save honest answers like this for times that your team is winning. If Taylor said "he's the only batsman we have worked out" that would have been fine, but this kind of talk after you've just been rolled in 3 and a bit days is ridiculous.

  • rogan on December 4, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    WRT Ross Taylor, always back self interest. You just can't take such comments at face value. The one thing you can count on is that they don't particularly want to face Hughes in the next game.

    The step up is a difficult one, the question for Hughes is, is he the next Matty Hayden or the next Blewett? It's not unusual to have people doubting you early in your career. The question is whether you can take advantage of the opportunities you get. If it was 10 or 15 years ago he'd be long gone, but the alternatives are not that strong these days. But unless he scores runs in Hobart he will be dropped assuming Marsh is fit.

    If that happens, I'd suggest Hussey open with Marsh, and put Watson at 6.

  • hhillbumper on December 4, 2011, 20:42 GMT

    He is just a walking wicket and England get him cheaply every time.I hope he stays in the team as the found of crashing timbers will not be the same without him during Aus's next loss in the Ashes

  • katandthat3 on December 4, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    Gee, some people really like to fly off the handle, Ross was asked a simple question and gave a simple answer, I guess a few people were disappointed Ross didn't say "I actually hope Hughes plays and scores a ton against us down in Hobart'. Taylor realises his team have more important issues to sort out before Friday as mentioned in other articles. If Hughes didn't play two poor shots in a row we wouldn't even be having this discussion. I think Hughesy can score a lot of runs for Australia but if he doesn't do anything in Hobart he'll probably make way for the Indian series for when Watson and Marsh return. North got dropped for similar rocks and diamonds performances, the difference is that Hughes has a heap of time on his side and will not necessarily have to totally change his technique (although I would love him to stay more side on with balls on off stump) but judge more precisely which deliveries he can leave or score off with a lot less risk. I was impressed with Brownlie.

  • SirViv1973 on December 4, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Hughes technique is clearly flawed and surley he needs to go back and play shield cricket for NSW and sort out his problems. It looks like he will get another opportunity in Hobart but with Watson and Marsh likley to be fit for India series I can't see him keeping his place for that.

  • moBlue on December 4, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    for those bashing sehwag as technically "a mess", even the great, technically sound gavaskar said that sehwag is indeed "technically sound" in defense... plays the ball late and knows how to put it down safely or let it go when he wants to. the rest is sehwag playing as only sehwag can though the posse of cricket fans [mostly from countries outside india] who look for "technique" and ignore the elephant in the room - an opener who has scored big and fast in test cricket against all manner of opposition both home and away and has even enough "technique" to score 2 triple hundreds - is pretty pathetic, indeed. anyway, hughes should ignore those baying about technique, focus on the next ball and only the next ball and believe he can play to his strengths and find the ropes on the very next ball [like sehwag has said that he does to keep his game simple!], and work on defense [just in case]... maybe he should even talk to sehwag - i bet that sehwag would tell him about mastering the mind!

  • AUSOME_AWESIE on December 4, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    i wud love it for de Kiwis 2 retain their entire team...rather than talk bout our team composition....

  • NaniIndCri on December 4, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    I think Aus will love to see all the NZ batsmen retained for next test

  • vinodkd99 on December 4, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    @Warnerbasher-- I suppose your memory does not serve you right. Last time when Aussies played India at WACA, Aussies had 2 of the fastest bowlers in International Cricket playing that match, Lee and Tait. Please revisit the scorecard and have a look at their figures and final match result.

  • Beazle on December 4, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    The English team are preying that Hughes is retained. He is justifiably regarded over here as a "walking wicket."

  • redbrand on December 4, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    return their fire Clarkey, demand that NZ retain their same team, pathetic as it is!

  • on December 4, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    Really Warnerbasher? I remember Perth from the last time India played the Aussies there. Your WEAPON...Shaun Tait went into depression after that test...Perhaps he too was expected to take 45 wickets in the game... there are signs of resurgence from the Aussie camp, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to go on a tirade against India. Newsflash...It is OK to not be a BCCI/Indian Cricket team basher.

  • njr1330 on December 4, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    Philip Hughes is in the position that Ian Bell was in 3-4 years ago. if he responds in the same way, he will be fine... Also, we have short memories; just before the most recent Ashes, Alastair Cook couldn't buy a run... the rest, as they say, is history!

  • stormy16 on December 4, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    I am not sure what else Taylor said but this is an absurd point to focus on after a pathetic show with the bat. I think NZ made other dismissive comments leading in to the first test and batted to defend those comments and it backfired badly. Having said that Hughes has and still looks an awfully awkward opening batsman. Sure he made some runs but is this is a long term plan. His issues outside the off side will be tested and keeps looking awkward. Unless there is a shortage of quality opening batsman in Aus the Hughes experiment will surely be shortlived.

  • Wefinishthis on December 4, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    Mervo and Heisenburg, spot on. Rogers should have been in the team years ago (and I was saying this years ago, not in retrospect) and the Captain should never have a say in team selection. He is there to lead the team, not to select it, although his opinion should be considered by selectors, the ultimate decision should rest with them.

  • maddy20 on December 4, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    After you have played horrible cricket for 5 days, it is surprising to see Rosco taking a dig at the opposition. Perhaps they should look at themselves first? After all Hughes did score 10 and 7 as opposed to Taylor's 14 and 0?

  • on December 4, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Of course, Mr. Mervo, Sehwag is technically correct.... Wow Epic statement. Bottom line is , at the end of the day you gotta make runs no matter how you do it.

  • dsig3 on December 4, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    @Mervo "Indian opener technically good"? Cant tell if serious, Sehwag is a fantastic player but is technically a mess. Hughes technique is not the biggest problem, his headspace is wrong. He can play at this level but he may need a break from the international spotlight for a while.

  • dsig3 on December 4, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    Thats a dog act Ross. It may be what you are thinking but you dont say that. To be honest I am keen to have Ross around in the Captaincy spot for the Kiwis when they play Aus. I think he is a bit average, not sure what NZ supporters think but looks like a team that cares more about looking good. Hughes for a double ton in Hobart.

  • indianpunter on December 4, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    Ross Taylor, You cannot say these things in international cricket. i hope hughes lets the bat do the talking and makes a big hundred in Hobart.

  • on December 4, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    I am neither an Aussie or a Kiwi, but i would love it if Phillip Hughes scored a big hundred in the next test then raised his bat in the direction of Ross Taylor, as if to say thats how you do it son!

  • AidanFX on December 4, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    In regard to Taylor - whilst I like to see guys being honest and not being robots to the media )like normal) - still common sense and good sportsmanship says a little bit of tact is required. I agree with some of the statements made below regarding the hypocritical cocky statements. In general NZ should not have talked themselves up so much before the tour began.

  • AidanFX on December 4, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    I am gonna go against the wind - I think the "technical issue" with Hughes is overstated - I think the guy is a confidence player; no doubt it has an unusual technique; but I think his technique is being exposed more because of confidence than ability. I think the guy has a good temperament actually - but he is a confidence player. I can't forget the two hundreds back to back in the same test in SA - I reckon the guy has freakish ability. Having said that - the way he got dismissed in the second innings his place in the side is as questionable as it has ever been.

  • Mervo on December 4, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    Really opening batsmen need to have a decent technique. Look at Alistair Cook and Andrew Strauss. Also Both Indian openers are technically good. Hughes never was and never will be. He undoubtedly has a good eye which pays off from time to time but he is no answer and should be left to serve his days in the Shield game or in the ODI/20/20 games occasionally . Katich had a solid technique and was hard to get out. Chris Rodgers is another and Marsh yet another. We seem to want a 'slogger' there at the top, and Hughes is not that man. He is just embarrassing to watch. Wait for the short ball ... he's out! Clarke must forget his friendship with Hughes and do the right thing.

  • Nightwing32 on December 4, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    Saying these things never go well. I think the reason why Hughes is struggling is mental. There is no pressure on him in NSW compared to Australia. I mean come on, every single innings even if he scores 100, people will say to drop him and say his technique is not good enough. He scored 100's for Australia at the age of 23, I say his technique is good for him to get him this far, Langer would go through some adjustments for him because Langer is the batting coach.

    I was never a fan of Hughes but I like him and he deserves to be in the team.

    Australian cricket. We all support our players and we stick with them. If we go by all these comments and scrutiny. We would never have had Steve Waugh, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, Mark Waugh, Matty Hayden, Simon Katich..again, Fleming, Brett Lee and so on. Form is up and down but Hughes has talent. I would and I know Australia will stick with him.

  • Heisenburg on December 4, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    This is why having a captain as a selector is a terrible idea, if it were up to Clarke nobody would be dropped ever.

  • on December 4, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Hughes hasn't just failed in the test arena for the past couple of years; he has also failed in the first class arena too (in all 3 formats). To bring a player in, who was dropped due to technique deficiencies, when they are now woefully out of form and their deficiencies haven't been amended, is daft. He needs to be dropped ASAP. Why not bring Dan Christian in as a batsman and have Khawaja open?

  • satish619chandar on December 4, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    One thing to wonder with this Hughes.. Is Australian domestic bowlers that bad not to breach this guys technique or what? Everytime he gets out to these shots, he creates this doubt automatically..

  • pepsi_challenge on December 4, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    I don't know what the problem is with that statement. The more captains that give honest answers in pressers the better. I'd much rather big comments like that than poor, overused cliche's

  • on December 4, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    settle down people Ross Taylor would have been given a direct question about Hughes and he gave an honest answer because he is an aussie batsman that they have worked out. Hughes should be dropped to go back to state cricket to see if he can improve, if you look at the last 10 years of australian cricket people like Hayden, Langer, Hussey, haddin and more have come into the test team later in their careers and been sucessfull because they have developed their game in sheild cricket over a number of years.

  • on December 4, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    im a huge phillip hughes fan and know he will come good in hobart.....he is a bit like sehwag........both hughes and sehwag score their runs fast and love cutting and drivth can geting the ball, but both can get out cheaply getting caught in the slip cordon most of the time.....similarly, both rnt the pest at playing the short ball..so i think we should be patient with hughes as he will score a ton one day for aussie wen they need it the most!

  • warnerbasher on December 4, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    Ross old boy you scored 8 runs in 2 innings against our second stringers. Wait until the first choices come back into the team. Still your right about hughes though but perhaps you should keep your thoughts to yourself when your own backyard is clean. Can't wait to see Cummins and Pattinson get stuck into India's "dads army" batting lineup especially in Perth. There be some sick and sore old indian batsmen limping home after that match.

  • katwash on December 4, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    A ridiculous and arrogant comment from a clearly inexperienced losing captain. I doubt Vettori would have come out with anything so silly. Perhaps the Kiwi leader should have a look at his own technique!!

  • Rooboy on December 4, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Great post pikk0n, totally agree with your comments. And maybe the NZ players would be better served concentrating on their own game, since the disrespect they have shown Aus has never worked for them. Sure, guys like McGrath etc made arrogant, disrespectful public comments towards the opposition, but it doesn't seem so foolish when it's backed up on the field

  • Beertjie on December 4, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    I'm beginning to warm to Pup as skipper, but his blind support for Hughes and Punter leaves me cold. Both must make way sooner rather than later. If the selectors don't take these "hard" choices sooner rather than later, we'll be back where we started (ie, before MJ got injured and did their jobs for them). Give guys a fair go and drop them when they can't cut it; e.g., If Cutting weren't injured, he should replace Starc.

  • MenFromMarts on December 4, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    I am less concerned about Hughes' form than I am about Clarke's attitude to Hughes' form. This is not acceptable fom a Captain to be so adamant about a player who is not in charge emotionally. It is obvious there is an issue with Hughes, and if Clarke is unwilling to accept it, or more importantly unable to SEE it then we have a real problem. Clarke may be on the selection panel but he is not the sole selector. I hope the others have the nuts to stand up and make a change. Ultimately for the benefit of Hughes in the long term. The guy is a talent. As a replacement then. Take your pick from Rogers, Katich and D. Hussey for mine. Need experience with Warner and Khawaja up top.

  • Rahul_78 on December 4, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    I think Taylor needs to shut his trap and concentrate on his own and his batsmen's Technic. It is his side that has been shot out twice for under 300 runs. This series has been unusual in the sense Kiwis are making lot of noise and statements compared to OZ. And it has certainly came back to haunt them so far.

  • willsrustynuts on December 4, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    hughes and watto to open in the next ashes please.

    in the long dark days of aussie world domination i never thought it would be that easy to beat an australian side.

  • on December 4, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    this is a pretty average aussie side and hughes is struggling to keep his place, shouldnt be difficult for clarke to do the math..... bring watto back into the equation and you have about the worst opening pair in recent test cricket history.

    look forward to retaining the ashes for some time to come.

  • jonesy2 on December 4, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    although i will say that his case is very confusing based on his great shield record where he faces better bowlers than flintoff and harmison. how does this happen? strange

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    I think sadly Hughes will never be a great success in test cricket.

    If Watson or Marsh are available I'd bring them in for him. If not, Christian to 7 and everyone else slide up one.

  • jonesy2 on December 4, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    this is so stupid for ross taylor to say, i am very surprised i didnt think ross was this type of bloke. teams have got to learn not to talk when they play australia because feet end up in mouths and humble pie is eaten. would not surprise me if hughes comes in scores a dominant century in hobart.

  • popcorn on December 4, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    I have saisd time and time again that Phil Hughes is undependable, that he should be sacked.Whatever be the friendship Michael Clarke has with Phil Hughes, irt is the Argus Review and performance that should count. Now even the opposing captain is saying it.If Phil Hghes is chosen foir Hobart, Australia will be playing with 10 men,not 11.Warner, Khwaja,Marsdh and Watson ALL have better technique than Phil Hughes. Just as the Selectors took a bold hard decision to bring in Watson as opener after Hughes ailed in 2 Tests in the Ashes 2009 - and what a revelation Watson has been! - they must have the guts to overrule Clarke and choose Khwaja,Marsh or Warner to partner Watson.If Watson is not fit, Warner should partner Khawaja or Marsh,and Marsh or Khawaja should come in at No.3.

  • thewayitwass on December 4, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    NZ talked a huge game coming into this series.. after being thrashed by a team that is effectively second string (how many teams would be competetive with 5 injuries?), where does taylor get his arrogance from? unbelievable i thought the kiwis were gentlemen, but they are trying to be aggressive without the talent and performances to back it up and looking ridiculous

  • stickman75 on December 4, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    Hughes <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 love you

  • choppa13 on December 4, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    haha aussie have one weak link in there batting line up and da kiwis have six good one ross. dont get me wrong i am a blackcap supporter through and through but these stupid comments from our captain arnt going to help us win in hobbart should just keep quiet and play the game look where all the talk before this match got them.

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    I think playing for the Australian team is an odd place to get to practice working on your technique. I know that Australia are trying to look long term with players like Hughes but if he has technical issues can't he work on them in a shield team or a grade team and make room for Katich or Klinger or Jacques or someone who is in form?

  • pj3000 on December 4, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Mohammad (7.17am), yes, Hughes did face Harmy in '09. Fact is, Phil isn't a Test opener. From the squad chosen for Hobart, I'd drop Hughes, move everyone else up one spot and bat Dan Christian at No 6.

  • Stevo_ on December 4, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    Would rather see Hughes in the side than Warner

  • Ross_Co on December 4, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    Of course Hughes did actually score more runs than Taylor, so.... If you can't say anything that isn't stupid - best not to say anything.

  • RandyOZ on December 4, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    I have been a long term Hughes advocate based on his record for NSW, but I am seeing the exact same type of dismissal every time. Either being squared up and nicking to the slips or out cutting in the air to the gully. I am concerned with this, although would probably give him at least one match against India to try and rectify it.I still don't like Haddin there, his keeping is still below average and Wade is batting just as well.

  • inefekt on December 4, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    His technique has improved out of sight has it Clarkey? I wonder if we are talking about he same person here, I'm sure you are not talking about Phil Hughes!

  • RJHB on December 4, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    I don't buy the "great record for NSW" defence for Hughes because he's failing in test cricket. Plenty of good cricketers with great first class records don't cut it in test cricket simply because the latter is the best of the best where cruddy techniques or character flaws get found out and exploited. I honestly don't understand the debate. He is failing in test cricket, so he should be axed, just like Hayden, Langer, Boon etc were in the past. They fixed their problems, came back and were better players, Hughes could do the same. If Watto isn't fit for Hobart, pick Cowan on his home turf. It just makes too much sense to ignore surely.

  • cardshark08 on December 4, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    Completely agree with Ithisham. It'd be much more appropriate for Michael Clarke to say he'd "love to see the retention of Guptill, McCullum, Taylor, Williamson and Ryder ... if they play in Tasmania then obviously James Pattinson will be bowling at them and hopefully they'll get themselves out for a third time too." Seriously, what does this NZ team think they have done to warrant such arrogance? Our top 5 can only play T20, Martin has one good spell a year, Young is a jack-of-no-trades and Southee is rubbish when it doesn't swing - and sometimes when it does. I refuse to support such fools. Now I wish that Brendan Taylor had taken Zim across the line in that test. A team of eleven Hughes's could beat us.

  • Itchy on December 4, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Aus bowlers would love Ross Taylor to keep getting selected too based on his performance in this test.

  • slugger1969 on December 4, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    So what has Ed Cowan done wrong to not deserve a chance?

  • pikk0n on December 4, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Surely, it's his mental state that is being disturbed again. If he does well in state level, does it mean that the state bowlers we have are plain rubbish and aren't comparable even to Martin? What would that say about Pattinson, Siddle, Cutting and even Harris?! This kid needs to avoid the media, get his head back together and play naturally. The constant criticism on his unorthodoxed technique got to him during his period in the test squad. He fixed things temporarily in state cricket but now, it looks like he's a tortured soul again.Rather disappointed because this kid is extremely talented. I hope the team sports psychologist can help him get through this period. If dropping him for 2 seasons means that Hughes will regain his confidence, by all means, do so. His weight of runs in domestic cricket will definitely have him firmly in the frame of minds of the selectors.

  • FatBoysCanBat on December 4, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    Ithisham Mohamed: This has nothing to do with NZ's batting. All Ross Taylor was saying is they would like him in the team for the next game because he is pretty much the only one who they know how to get out. Hughes's weakness is an in-swinger from a right-arm pace bowler which pitches on leg stump just short of a length and goes across him which he proceeds to edge to about 3rd slip. We have seen it for most of his career; v Eng 2009, v Eng 2010/11, v SA 2011. NZ have the perfect bowler for this in Martin [as we saw in both innings] because he bowls prodigious in-swingers with the new ball.

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    I will like to....ask my Aussies friends....if Hughes...goes away...who do they think...is an able replacement...to partner Watso....With all due respect to.....Warner....he still needs..to evolve...a lot..to be a top contender...

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    I bet Australia would love to have our top 5 play again, including you Taylor. What a crap team we have.

  • tinkertinker on December 4, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    I am no fan of hughes but ross taylor seem rather churlish here, his team talked themselves up ad nauseum pre test and now they have been humiliated including a first baller himself so maybe trying to humiliate the other teams opener isn't that wise.

  • TheMissingAllrounder on December 4, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    There was a piece in the paper the other day arguing that Hughes's test record was better than Hayden's at the same stage of their careers. What they ignored was that Hayden was subsequently dropped, spent a couple of years at state level before coming back a much better player. Hughes is young. It won't hurt him to have a bit of time out of the test team.

    That said, I don't think Warner and Watson is the right opening partnership. Both need a Katich type at the other end to hold the partnership together. Hussey might be able to do it. He is a former opener. Khawaja looks to have the right temperament but should probably be allowed a chance to cement his spot at number 3, unless he's just keeping it warm for Marsh. Then again Marsh also has some experience opening and could be bumped up.

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    i think taylor should see a video of himself and try to improve his performance...

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    I don't think he even faced harmison in 2009.

  • Sinhaya on December 4, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    Phillip Hughes is a pure passenger in the side! If he has passed 50 only twice in the past 17 innings, why on earth is he kept??? Seems Clarke is favoring NSW players and thats why 6 players in the side are from NSW such as Haddin, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Warner and Starc!

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    Terrible article Daniel we all know your stance with Hughes, Ponting averaged barely 40 when he first got into the team, give him time and I guarantee he will become a great opener. Yes he got out to a cut shot that he didn't need to play but it did not determine this match and he knew it didn't matter, so why pressure a young player in which the pitch doesn't suit his style nor did his poor shot determined the match.

  • MalolanR on December 4, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Aus Selectors Have to Bring In Ed Cowan In The Place Of Phil Hughes.

  • on December 4, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    After his 1st tour of SA, Hughes has averaged 30 in test matches across 13 test matches, with 1 century, That shows teams have worked him out and he is not adapting to it. The worrying thing about hughes is he is getting out the same way every time, caught behind off the edge. Doesnt make sense tho because he doesnt have any problems in state cricket, he scores a lot of hundreds

  • lyra_silvertongue on December 4, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    I've been a big fan but after today he has to make way, plenty of talent around

  • TheLoneStranger on December 4, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Hughes has to go, but I'm sure he won't. Ponting has saved his bacon for a little longer, which is fair enough; he earned it with his last two innings. Haddin has also earned his retention in the side. I'm still completely bewildered as to why Cutting missed the test, so already I have very little faith in the collective intelligence of the new selectors. If I was to make changes for the next test, they would be to axe Hughes until he develops a SOUND technique, and instal Watson (if fit) with Warner. One would expect Cummins to return to the side, possibly at Starc's expense, or possibly Siddle's. Starc batted very well after being let off on nought by a "sitter", and he's also a leftie, which may influence the selectors to give him another test. Anyway, time will tell.

  • bubbageil on December 4, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    If his record for NSW is great then let him go back there. Until he fixes his technique he's a liability.

  • on December 4, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    newzealand batted worst then huges so theey should shut there mouth and bat well

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  • on December 4, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    newzealand batted worst then huges so theey should shut there mouth and bat well

  • bubbageil on December 4, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    If his record for NSW is great then let him go back there. Until he fixes his technique he's a liability.

  • TheLoneStranger on December 4, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Hughes has to go, but I'm sure he won't. Ponting has saved his bacon for a little longer, which is fair enough; he earned it with his last two innings. Haddin has also earned his retention in the side. I'm still completely bewildered as to why Cutting missed the test, so already I have very little faith in the collective intelligence of the new selectors. If I was to make changes for the next test, they would be to axe Hughes until he develops a SOUND technique, and instal Watson (if fit) with Warner. One would expect Cummins to return to the side, possibly at Starc's expense, or possibly Siddle's. Starc batted very well after being let off on nought by a "sitter", and he's also a leftie, which may influence the selectors to give him another test. Anyway, time will tell.

  • lyra_silvertongue on December 4, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    I've been a big fan but after today he has to make way, plenty of talent around

  • on December 4, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    After his 1st tour of SA, Hughes has averaged 30 in test matches across 13 test matches, with 1 century, That shows teams have worked him out and he is not adapting to it. The worrying thing about hughes is he is getting out the same way every time, caught behind off the edge. Doesnt make sense tho because he doesnt have any problems in state cricket, he scores a lot of hundreds

  • MalolanR on December 4, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Aus Selectors Have to Bring In Ed Cowan In The Place Of Phil Hughes.

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    Terrible article Daniel we all know your stance with Hughes, Ponting averaged barely 40 when he first got into the team, give him time and I guarantee he will become a great opener. Yes he got out to a cut shot that he didn't need to play but it did not determine this match and he knew it didn't matter, so why pressure a young player in which the pitch doesn't suit his style nor did his poor shot determined the match.

  • Sinhaya on December 4, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    Phillip Hughes is a pure passenger in the side! If he has passed 50 only twice in the past 17 innings, why on earth is he kept??? Seems Clarke is favoring NSW players and thats why 6 players in the side are from NSW such as Haddin, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Warner and Starc!

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    I don't think he even faced harmison in 2009.

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    i think taylor should see a video of himself and try to improve his performance...