NSW v South Australia, Sheffield Shield, Sydney, 2nd day December 9, 2013

Another Hughes hundred drives Redbacks

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Australia 5 for 288 (Hughes 118, Ferguson 80, Copeland 3-83) trail New South Wales 373 by 85 runs

Phillip Hughes has ensured that if Australia need a batting replacement during the Ashes they will have an in-form opener to call on, after he scored his third century of the Sheffield Shield season. At stumps on the second day against New South Wales at the SCG, South Australia were on 5 for 288, needing another 86 runs to take first-innings points, and they were relying on captain Johan Botha, who had 32, and Tim Ludeman, who was yet to score.

Hughes made 118 in his 277-ball innings, and it continued a strong start to his season after he was dropped from the Test side during the Ashes tour of England. He made 204 against Western Australia at Adelaide Oval and followed that two games later with 103 against Victoria at the MCG, and his latest effort in Sydney will have caught the attention of the selectors.

"All I want to do is continue to score runs. That's what they've told me to do," Hughes told reporters in Sydney. "I just love to be talked about. That's something that I want to keep doing, keep making noise and scoring as many behind me as possible. If something comes up around the selection table that I'm one of the few they're talking about, that's something that I'd really love. I want to just continue to make big statements with big runs."

Hughes put on 148 for the fourth wicket with Callum Ferguson before becoming one of three wickets for Trent Copeland. Ferguson struck 10 fours and two sixes in his 80 before he was caught off the bowling of Steve O'Keefe.