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.

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  • Richard on December 10, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    I wouldn't rate the NSW bowling attack at the moment, for this match anyway. Abbot is more of an allrounder, and Sandhu has been woeful this season. Would like to see Hughes make some big scores against a quality attack at first class level, alas, most of the decent quicks are out injured.

  • Brenton on December 10, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    I'm sure this is Boof's plan, let Hughes revert back to his natural technique, clear his head and get back to the sorts of runs we all know he is capable of.

    Next time he returns to the test team he will be comfortable, confident and in excellent form.

  • Android on December 10, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Rogers is not a long term option, he was put in to sure up the batting line up against england, but hasn't really done that, Rogers will be lucky not to lose his spot come to Hughes come the tour of South Africa .

  • Ralph on December 10, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    He struggles against spin, but so did just about everybody else in India and England recently. Hiughes could easily slot into a top three spot if he keeps working hard but he is not suited for a 5 or 6 spot. He would have to be in consideration but I would like to see him have a full season at SS level rather then have another "2 tests to prove yourself or you are gone" situation.

  • James on December 9, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    Calm down, so many people jump the gun. Warner, Hughes and Smith are the best young bats. Smith won't be dropped, it was only 2 tests ago he got a test century, now people are talking about him being dropped? Give the kid a chance!

    Hughes should never have been dropped in Rogers misses out twice in Pert, Hughes should come into strong consideration. He should go to SA anyway, Doolan is so inconsistent, not ready.

  • Peter on December 9, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    @Michael Botting. Really? Both Rogers & Smith? I'll take 72 runs in a test any time, the fact is, he blunted their attack for a later counter attack, he averages 50+ in fc cricket Smith performed the best of the batsmen in the Gabba first innings & settled the 2nd innings when he joined Warner. At least these 2 have solid fc form for a number of years, what about Watson? Averages less than 30 with the bat & 40+ with the ball? But he should stay to keep the team together, the dynamics are good & you shouldn't alter winning teams unless you have no choice.

  • Peter on December 9, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    All Hughes can do is continue doing what he does best, making runs. I think too many here are way to critical, Hughes will make it at test level, you don't score 25 fc centuries at 24 year of age with no talent, you don't score twin tons against Steyn & company while so young without any talent. By the criteria of some posters, Hayden would never have been selected again, nor Langer or Martyn. If & when someone comes along who is performing better then by all means put them in. @CricketMaan. Do yourself a favour & check with the fc stats this season, Steve Smith rates high amongst them, he is an integral member of the side & only 2 tests ago scored an undefeated century for Australia. When winning, you don't chop & change for the sake of it, it de stabilizes a team. His first innings effort at the Gabba was the most accomplished of the batsmen,

  • Mashuq on December 9, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Agree @FrankWoods on (December 9, 2013, 11:31 GMT) that they should bring him to South Africa and at some point reintegrate him into the team. I've never been a fan of Hughes, but his record in Shield is streets ahead of rivals. He should either open or bat #3. @ CricketMaan on (December 9, 2013, 10:23 GMT), Doolan was my pick in place of Bailey, but he's not performing currently, nor is Mic Maddinson. Everyone was talking up Joe Burns but he, too, is performing poorly. Chris Lynne was doing OK again but scheduling this Big Bash hoo hah is hardly contributing to fringe players' form when the Saffer tour begins in February.

  • ESPN on December 9, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    Rogers and Steve smith both struggling with the bat for Australia. Sure Rogers made 72 in first innings at adelaide, but it was a batting friendly pitch and he struggled throughout. All of his other innings have been failures. Bring in Hughes for Rogers. And smith has been just as disappointing. I think callum ferguson could come in for him. Ferguson is good form and deserves a chance in the test team.

  • Frank on December 9, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    He may of had lots chances, but he's still been treated unfairly and is too good to be playing sheild during an ashes. Should of been khwaja to of made way for Warner back in England. His 81 at TB was worthy of a ton. Shouldn't be thrown in now as it wouldn't be fair on him or his replacie, as no-one deserves to be dropped. Retain him in the one day team and bring him to south Africa and at some point reintegrate him into the team

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