Australia news August 13, 2014

Hughes 'a 100-Test player' - Clarke

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Phillip Hughes is used to getting bad news from Australia's selectors, having been dropped from the Test team three times, but captain Michael Clarke believes he will become a permanent fixture in Australia's side over the next decade.

In his latest setback, Hughes was this month left out of the one-day squad to tour Zimbabwe, despite less than a week earlier becoming the first Australian to score a List A double-century. Instead of preparing for ODI duties, Hughes has stayed with Australia A, for whom he scored the 202 not out in Darwin, and will captain the side in a four-day game against South Africa A in Townsville this week.

Hughes had appeared the logical candidate to be included in the one-day squad, given that David Warner will miss the Zimbabwe tour to prepare for the birth of his first child. But while Hughes said he was "really disappointed" at being overlooked in the short term, Clarke believes his long-term future should include a lengthy tenure in the national side.

"I think Hughesy is a really good example of someone who continues to score big runs," Clarke told ABC Radio this week. "Look at his first-class record, he's probably got more hundreds than any other player at his age. He's making runs consistently for Australia A, so I think he's doing everything he can to be in the front of the selectors' minds.

"His performances speak for themselves. He's got a bright future. He's a 100-Test player in my opinion. He's just got to get an opportunity now and I'm sure he'll grab it with both hands. But I think in 10 years from now, we'll be talking about Phillip Hughes as one of those players to play 100 Test matches for Australia. He's got the talent, he's got the work ethic.

"I guess what I love most about Hughesy is his passion and want to play for Australia. You ask him to do something, he'll do it if it helps him get in this Australian team. He's a good guy to have around the group. I've always liked him, I've got a lot of respect for him and I know he'll play a lot of cricket for Australia."

But Hughes, 25, has perhaps played less cricket for his country than might have been expected after he scored twin centuries in his second Test in Durban at the age of 20. He has made 26 Test appearances but has added only one more century, and was surprisingly overlooked as a one-day player until early last year, when he emerged with two hundreds in his first ODI series.

Over the past five years, Hughes has struggled to find a permanent place in Australia's Test side. He was axed during the 2009 Ashes tour of England, again after becoming Chris Martin's bunny in the 2011-12 home series against New Zealand, and once more during the 2013 Ashes tour when Warner returned to the side for the third Test.

Although Hughes was back in the squad for this year's tour of South Africa, he did not play a Test, and it remains to be seen whether he will be part of the group to play Pakistan in the UAE in October. Ahead of the South Africa A match starting in Townsville on Thursday, Hughes told reporters that new chairman of selectors Rod Marsh had been supportive but had challenged him to keep piling up the runs.

"I was really disappointed to not get selected for that [Zimbabwe tour], but that's how it is," Hughes said. "All I can do is continue to play some consistent cricket. I'm happy with my game at the moment. I've had a good chat with Rod Marsh and he's been really good.

"That chat stays between me and Rod, but it's about scoring a lot more runs and everything takes care of itself. I spoke to Rod a number of times in the last week and he's been very supportive. They only took 14 to Zimbabwe, so it's not many in the squad. There wasn't really room for me, and that's what he said. It's about going on and scoring a lot more runs and continuing to be consistent."

Despite his outstanding one-day record - he has scored 3473 List A runs at 48.23 - Hughes will find it hard to break into Australia's squad for the upcoming World Cup, with Warner to return to the group. For the time being, his focus is on adding to his 25 first-class centuries over the next few days in Townsville.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Flemo_Gilly on August 19, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    Clarke must stop talking his little mate up, we know he has done well in the Aus A tour but his continual support for Hughes over other batsman is too obvious.

  • Haiphong on August 18, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    There we go again.... Been down this road several times over the past few years!

  • on August 16, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    Hughes should be the current number 3 for Australia in tests.His technique is not perfect but it has brought him 24 FC centuries. He has the talent, but more importantly the grit, drive, determination and work ethic to be a top test batsman.

    Put him in at 3 and leave him there. He will get better and better each series.

  • on August 15, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    Australia produces batsmen from outside NSW

  • on August 15, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    A few years ago there was a bloke by the name of Hayden.... dropped how many times....

  • jonesy2 on August 15, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    this man is going to be a test legend if he is picked and allowed to play

  • Chris_P on August 15, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    @Forward_Defensive @Ian Jones, Well and good, but move on with who? Who is deserving of a place and is bashing down the door demanding selection??? If they can't score more runs than Hughes, why select them?? And our domestic attacks are very hot with guys like Sayers, Cutting, Hazelwood, Bird Pattinson, Sandhu, Cummins, Faulkner, Copeland and the list goes on and on.. Our domestic attacks are top notch, I see 8 or 9 games a year, that part of Australian cricket isn't the problem.

  • on August 14, 2014, 22:33 GMT

    Hughes is getting like Ramprakash! More Come backs than Frank Sinatra! He has huge technical flaws in his the England worked out in 2009!

  • Forward_Defensive on August 14, 2014, 21:51 GMT

    Hughes is just a FTB. He is adept at plundering domestic & second string attacks but fails when real pressure is applied, hence his revolving door history in the Test side. Its time the selectors moved on.

  • seagrip on August 14, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    It is completely ridiculous that Hughes is not in the Aus squad in all formats of the game. He has been completely mismanaged by Australian selectors particularly when he was first dropped because the English gutter press led the selectors to believe he had poor 'technique'. The same poor technique that saw him flay a much better pace attack in South Africa and the same technique that saw him score big runs for Middlesex in English conditions immediately prior to the Ashes. Dropped with a test and first class average of close to 50 first time round is ridiculous. Been in and out since - dropped again after a good knock against NZ, dropped again in the ashes when he was the leading scorer on tour. Of his 26 tests 17 have been played away from home. P Hughes averages 45 in FC cricket, 48 in List A, 44 in T20. Cowan averages 39 in FC cricket, 35 in List A and 18 in T20. P Hughes has 26 FC centuries aged 25. E Cowan has 17 FC centuries aged 32.

  • Flemo_Gilly on August 19, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    Clarke must stop talking his little mate up, we know he has done well in the Aus A tour but his continual support for Hughes over other batsman is too obvious.

  • Haiphong on August 18, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    There we go again.... Been down this road several times over the past few years!

  • on August 16, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    Hughes should be the current number 3 for Australia in tests.His technique is not perfect but it has brought him 24 FC centuries. He has the talent, but more importantly the grit, drive, determination and work ethic to be a top test batsman.

    Put him in at 3 and leave him there. He will get better and better each series.

  • on August 15, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    Australia produces batsmen from outside NSW

  • on August 15, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    A few years ago there was a bloke by the name of Hayden.... dropped how many times....

  • jonesy2 on August 15, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    this man is going to be a test legend if he is picked and allowed to play

  • Chris_P on August 15, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    @Forward_Defensive @Ian Jones, Well and good, but move on with who? Who is deserving of a place and is bashing down the door demanding selection??? If they can't score more runs than Hughes, why select them?? And our domestic attacks are very hot with guys like Sayers, Cutting, Hazelwood, Bird Pattinson, Sandhu, Cummins, Faulkner, Copeland and the list goes on and on.. Our domestic attacks are top notch, I see 8 or 9 games a year, that part of Australian cricket isn't the problem.

  • on August 14, 2014, 22:33 GMT

    Hughes is getting like Ramprakash! More Come backs than Frank Sinatra! He has huge technical flaws in his the England worked out in 2009!

  • Forward_Defensive on August 14, 2014, 21:51 GMT

    Hughes is just a FTB. He is adept at plundering domestic & second string attacks but fails when real pressure is applied, hence his revolving door history in the Test side. Its time the selectors moved on.

  • seagrip on August 14, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    It is completely ridiculous that Hughes is not in the Aus squad in all formats of the game. He has been completely mismanaged by Australian selectors particularly when he was first dropped because the English gutter press led the selectors to believe he had poor 'technique'. The same poor technique that saw him flay a much better pace attack in South Africa and the same technique that saw him score big runs for Middlesex in English conditions immediately prior to the Ashes. Dropped with a test and first class average of close to 50 first time round is ridiculous. Been in and out since - dropped again after a good knock against NZ, dropped again in the ashes when he was the leading scorer on tour. Of his 26 tests 17 have been played away from home. P Hughes averages 45 in FC cricket, 48 in List A, 44 in T20. Cowan averages 39 in FC cricket, 35 in List A and 18 in T20. P Hughes has 26 FC centuries aged 25. E Cowan has 17 FC centuries aged 32.

  • Chris_P on August 14, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    @Jaffa99. My point with Hughes is that he scores runs and plenty of them in Shield. If and when someone scores more than him then I will back him. Hayden was averaging 23 in tests when he was scoring runs in shield, by your definition he too should never have been picked. Shield form has to be the main criteria for selection, every time.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 14, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    @dunger.bob: He now has a few leg side shots though. A pretty decent pull shot and a slog over long on that worked well for him during the 202*.

  • bren19 on August 14, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    Hughes is a bit unlucky. I think if they want him playing test cricket, they need to pick him and stick with him. let him find his feet like they do for most other players. Having said that, Hughes might get more out of a 4 day match than a one day tour.

  • fazald on August 14, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    I reckon the problem with Hughes is that he is an aggressive batsman by nature and there's so much pressure on him when he goes to bat that he finds it hard to curb his strokeplay and gets out trying to change his style. That's the reason why he always gets out offering a poor stroke. At the sametime he keeps thinking that if he gets out early by not contributing much to the total that could be the end. I think he should be asked to play the way he thinks is best and not worry too much about failure. After a few low scores I am sure he will blossom into a fine batsman and will be a treat to watch. His two centuries against South Africa at the beginning of his career is an indication of his true potential.

  • Scuderi on August 14, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    I hope the selectors dont have the same attitude as the Hughes haters. They might be correct but I just dont think you can write off a player who is 25 years old. Think how anyone's tempermant chnages during their 20s.

    I have mentioned it before but I think they will only ever pick him as an opener in the future.

  • fazald on August 14, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    It's a shame that it has taken so long for Steve O'Keefe to get some sort of recognition to be selected to the Australian Cricket team. He is by far the best spin bowler in the country for the past 5 years and for some mysterious reason has been overlooked by the selectors. Though it it may be a bit too late now to be selected yet he is the best spinner we have at the moment. I reckon he should have walked into this Australian side even before Nathan Lyon and a host of others who have been tried, tested and failed miserably in both limited overs and test cricket. O'Keefe is good enough to play for Australia both in limited overs cricket and test cricket. He can also score quick runs and is also a brilliant fielder. I hope he will find a permanent place in the Australian Cricket team.

  • ak928 on August 14, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    @MinusZero........Shane watson cant be dropped for phill hughes.......the value that watson brings to the australian team cant be brought in by any other.........at this moment also watson is the best allrounder in aus......much much better than henriques,faulkner,cutting,m marsh and many others..........shane watson will be replaced only when he retires or is injured........else he will play in each format for australia..... as far as hughes is concerned.....he is very talented but is inconsistent.....and consistency is what international cricket demand.......so he should play another season of domestic cricket and show consistency for selection

  • on August 14, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    Here we go again, another Australian season gets closer and its another year of 'Hughes, Hughes, Hughes'. Seriously, is another failed shot at the top level required before the nuffies realise he isn't good enough? Agree with everything you have said Jaffa79.

  • on August 14, 2014, 1:54 GMT

    Hughes has talent, there is no doubt there. If he can work on his leg side weakness, he will be a very good batsman. When he was first brought into the team, he was told to change his style of play. Hopefully Darren Lehmann, who had an unorthodox style, will let him play his own game. If he does, either Warner or Rogers can move down the order to 3 or 4 because Hughes is a natural opener.

  • Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on August 14, 2014, 0:36 GMT

    @Chris_ P I agree he does still manage to score a lot of runs despite a lot of flaws in he's game, IMO he should never have been dropped from the team, He should have had baileys spot at least, Having met the guy he seems to have a good attitude and he seemed to be a genuinely nice guy so all the best to him.

  • dunger.bob on August 14, 2014, 0:34 GMT

    I don't know how many times I've seen the following: Tight leg stump line, block block miss. Keep it there ball after ball. The batsman can't hit it off the square, his frustration meter rises rapidly into the red. Tight, tight, tight THEN the sucker ball, wide outside off. Swish, snick. .. it's infuriating.

    Do the same thing to another left hander, Dave Warner for example, and you'll get a completely different result. He'll more than likely just work it around for his singles and two's and score at a run a ball without hardly playing a shot in anger. Hughes has just got to fix that glaring weakness or he'll be easy meat for the better bowlers the rest of his playing days. .. I'm not sure he can, but don't get me wrong, I bloody well wish he would.

  • MinusZero on August 13, 2014, 23:38 GMT

    Hughes is too good not to be playing tests. Hopefully they will get over the Watson obsession soon so a real batsman can play

  • Jaffa79 on August 13, 2014, 23:37 GMT

    @ Chris P...at Test level? No. He has played 26 Tests and averages 32! Hardly 'stacks of runs'. There are plenty of batters that filled their boots at domestic level and didn't do much at Test level but we should judge them at the highest level. His record suggests he should be jettisoned! I stand by my claims. Can you say with any gravitas that he is Test batsman? He deserves to be filed alongside Hick and Ramps. @ PeterinCanada, Bradman did have an unorthodox technique (so did Viv by the way) but he scored runs! Has Hughes? Did Bradman become a bunny to a bowler as unthreatening as Chris Martin? I'd suggest Hughes is closer in batting ability to Martin than he is Bradman! Australia have far better batsman than Hughes and should give a few of them a chance rather than turning back to this flat footed wafter. What would his pitiful average look like without those two hundreds against the South Africans?

  • Barnesy4444 on August 13, 2014, 23:14 GMT

    I remember people saying Hayden was too big, bulky, footwork too slow and couldn't cut. Therefore he couldn't be a test opener. LAUGH. LAUGH. LAUGH. Hughes will be back and next time it will be permanent. He will play 120 tests averaging close to 50 as an opener, not a number 4, or 6 like they have been stuffing him around.

  • on August 13, 2014, 22:25 GMT

    The funniest part about all these comments is the stack of people saying 'technique doesn't matter as long as you're scoring runs.'

    You know what, you're probably right. But a key part of that statement is the 'scoring runs' part.

    Since that second test against South Africa, he has averaged 27. Darren Sammy has that sort of record as a batsman in his last 24 tests (the same amount as Hughes has played since his twin hundreds). Fairly certain the sympathisers wouldn't be begging for Sammy to climb into the Aussie top 6.

    Secondly, for every Waugh, Hayden or langer who wasn't up to it the first time but became a champion, there is a Blewett, Elliott, kambli, hick or ramprakash.

  • AlSmug on August 13, 2014, 21:15 GMT

    I have no doubt hughes will play 100 tests with techniques over the cricketing nations deteriorating in the advent of t20 and more and more road decks prepared he and finch both will play plenty of test cricket over the next ten yrs that i can assure you !

  • Chris_P on August 13, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    @Jaffa79 "Can't play spin or pace, leg side & dodgy temperament" yet still manages to score stacks of runs at decent a average. Not too shabby for someone with no talent? Maybe a few people here need to go watch him live than sitting in the old arm chair.

  • Beertjie on August 13, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    Agree 100%, @othello22. Imho it could not have been better expressed.

  • punterdgr8 on August 13, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    who cares about the technique as long as you score test runs and have the gumption to play long and dirty.remember a lot of english players always focus on technique while growing up through the system, have tremendous investment in this 'textbook' approach(if i may have the audacity to say so) and yet we know the fact about english cricket,that is the less said about it the better.hughes has had his chances and i may add has failed to live up to the mark but that does not mean he can never make it again.I come from india and I know it's not right to say this abt england at the moment but history bears testimony to my above statement.how good has india been;well,we aren't discussing that are we!!!go aussies!!!!!!!!

  • Peterincanada on August 13, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    I remember reading that several English writers at the time said that Bradman had a bad technique. You see he had this unconventional grip which would never suceed at test level. Well he was eventually found out by Eric Hollies abd bowled for a duck, reducing his test average to an abysmal 99.94. So much for technique.

  • Ozcricketwriter on August 13, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    The issue with Phil Hughes is similar to the issue with Sri Lankan bowler Ajantha Mendis - if opposition players don't know how to beat him he is amazing but once they figure out the technical weaknesses, there is no Plan B.

    Michael Clarke, in comparison, has had his technical flaws found out a few times by bowlers but he changed his approach, and belted all of their best laid plans to pieces.

    Ricky Ponting, remember, was terrible early in his innings if bowling at his legs - always prone to LBW from certain deliveries or a knick to slips. Yet he managed to work around that - to some extent at least.

    Phil Hughes can defeat his many technical weaknesses but the point is that he needs to beat them before he can be considered. Just scoring runs isn't good enough.

  • Scuderi on August 13, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Hayden, Langer and Martyn were all considered not good enough and proved people wrong. None of us will know how good he really is until he is picked again, and he will, as he keeps making runs.

  • Jaffa79 on August 13, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    Hughes is the most overrated batsman I can think of. He can't play spin, struggles against pace, he wafts outside off stump, is bad when the ball jags back into him, can't play on the legside at all, is dodgy against the short ball and seems to have a poor temperament. Apart from that he is great!

  • on August 13, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    God these arguments are pathetic.

    Firstly, the inexplicable multitude of people calling for him to be rushed into the ODI team after one fine knock - are you equally miffed that the gentleman who made the double century for SA in the four day game should have been rushed into the SA test side for their match with Zimbabwe?

    Secondly, on what grounds should he possibly be given another go in the test side? 1 century in 24 tests, a couple of lengthy stints, and seemingly a new flaw developed every time he comes back into the side.

    Oh yeah he makes a great case to return to the team.

  • simonspringfieldangus on August 13, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    The fact that Hughes hasn't been given an extended run at Test is a testament to how inept our selectors are. For those pundit who keep trotting out the view that he has no leg side play, just look at the recent wagon wheels for his recent Australia A innings? Like all players given innate hand eye coordination, he adapts! I agree entirely with Michael Clarke, Hughes is a great player and will prove it!

  • Ozcricketwriter on August 13, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    He has already played 26 tests by 25 years of age. That leaves just 74 tests to go to get to 100. At an average of 15 tests per year, that is just 5 years in the test team. Given an average retirement age of 35, he therefore has about 5 years before he has to be a regular in the test team. And I would agree that 5 years is enough time to completely change his technique, work out how to play against England, India and New Zealand, and not get any worse against the other good bowling line ups. And then all he has left are the mental issues. As pointed out by others, Matthew Hayden too was said to be a first class-only player before his rebirth on the Indian test tour of 2001. But for that one success story there are a lot of failures too, like Matthew Elliott for one. And I for one see Phil Hughes's chances of playing 100 tests, and deserving to play 100 tests, as being incredibly unlikely.

  • inefekt on August 13, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Who cares if he has a technical deficiency. So did Steve Waugh, he couldn't play the short ball to save his life but in the end he found a way around it (usually by just letting it hit him!). I doubt there's been more than a handful of batsman who were technically perfect to have ever played the game, almost all have some weakness. South Africa knew this in his debut series, commentators were talking about this weakness before that series had even started and look what happened - not far from a century in his debut match before his twin centuries in the second. Yeah, that's some kind of weakness, I wish I had a weakness like that! Put simply, the selectors (in their infinite lack of wisdom) stuffed up royally when they dropped him in that Ashes series, it almost ruined him as a cricketer. Hopefully he gets an extended run now that he's found his natural style of play again.

  • on August 13, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    Can I just point out to the knockers that Matt Hayden was also put by many in the "he's a good state player, but will never make it in test cricket" basket. He got picked and dropped a couple of times without getting a really good run at it. He spent three years in the wilderness with a test average of a bit over 21, with one century. He piled on runs at state level. The test selectors picked him again, stuck with him through another 6 fairly poor tests, then he got a double hundred, and the rest is what everyone remembers him for. Hughes has had problems, there is no doubt, but he has the talent and temperament to do what Hayden did. He was extremely unlucky to get dropped in England after his 81no, which was one of the better innings of the whole series. I will agree with Clarke, and back his judgement against the knockers.

  • Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on August 13, 2014, 11:34 GMT

    Having watched cricket for 3 decades I can not think of another lefty who is as dodgy on the leg side as Hughes, for most lefty's it's there bread and butter but Hughes seems incapable of anything other than an onside swat for a single, He still needs a lot of work.

  • on August 13, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    Yes international bowlers had figured out Phil Hughes after his twin centuries. But in my opinion he has worked on his technique and his leg side play which was non existent when he was found out . But I like his fighting qualities and his ability to score big runs . I am sure he will fight it out till the very end and I think the best way for him to get an extended run is wihen India visits this summer. He can score tons of runs and grow in confidence as the Indian bowling is fairly suspect and with the confidence of a few big scores I am sure he will be a regular in the Australian team.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 13, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    @Othello22: Are you telling me Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel couldn't figure out after a few lusty cuts and drives through the off side that,

    - 'Hey, this guy is a good off-side player, let me not bowl there'?

    I find that very hard to believe. To let a guy score two hundreds in one game and still not be able to see what his weakness is, for class bowlers is unforgivable and i don't think Steyn would fall victim to that. He was dropped too early the first time, look how long England stuck with Joe Root when he was struggling, now he is scoring runs, i think Hughes would have done the same given the same opportunity. It was only two tests he missed out in, too early to say he had been 'found out'.

  • Mervo on August 13, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    Nah. You can coach cricket, but you can't coach brains. We know what we will get from Hughes at Test level, and it will never be enough. A decent State player and that is where his career should lie.

  • on August 13, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    Phil Who's, been around but never pushed on. Australia went through Kattich, Watson, Rogers, Jacques, Warner for openers in his time, so it is not like he was up against Langer or Hayden. Fact is he has repeatedly failed with his chances.

  • milepost on August 13, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    Just shows the depth Australia have that that can leave out players making loads of runs or taking loads of wickets. The Ashes is a mere formality with the Aussies to retain them 5-0.

  • othello22 on August 13, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Look, it's all very simple. Hughes scored cavalier twin tons against the might of SA and everyone was very impressed. Then footage was studied, and it was determined that if you don't bowl wide half trackers and half volleys five thousand miles outside the off stump, he had no shots. He has not really found his rhythm again since and has become a walking wicket on seaming decks against decent quality bowling. I like the guy,I am secretly willing him to become this 100-test run machine that Clarke, Ponting and everyone else has talked him up as being, but his international record is patchy at best. Some players can make hay in domestic cricket but just can't seem to find the extra something to succeed internationally. I fear Hughes is one of these players.

  • Sexysteven on August 13, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    Yea phil hughes interesting I'm sure he can play 100 tests for Aussie but it's upto him to fix up his technique so he can do that he nicks off a lot for someone with his talent but that can be fixed by leaving more balls and making the bowlers bowl into his areas then he can milk them for runs and hopefully become more consistent

  • jeroenn on August 13, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    Isn't it still a huge concern that Phil has a huge margin of error when conditions favour the bowler? A great batsman on good tracks a number 11 equivalent in a sticky situation. Phil will very rarely rescue his team mates to win a match. According to this criteria I think Alex has the best technique to fight and turn things around.

  • Thuram3 on August 13, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    I like Phil Hughes, he is a fantastic player in my opinion...hopefully he'll achieve all of those things...

  • anver777 on August 13, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    Clarke is spot on here.... highly talented Hughes is certainly a long term investment for AUS cricket, but unfortunately he has not cemented his place in the side thus far. One of the reason is he's not performing consistently enough in international games. Three comebacks in his career tells the whole story......... Any way like Clarke said, I wish Hughes will play 100+ tests for AUS !!!!!

  • David_Boon on August 13, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Got to wonder what the point of these Australia A games is when a bloke can smash a double ton, plus another ton and a couple of 50s and still not get picked.

  • on August 13, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    Among 4 players - Usman, Phil, Shaun and Alex, I MUST choose Phil, Usman, Alex and Shaun. I am shocked to see that Usman and Phil ignored by selecting Alex and Shaun. Usman is an ideal test player whereas Alex and Phil ODI. Shaun might be in between. Phil surely come forward soon, Usman should come to light by this year...

  • MariusPontmercy94 on August 13, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    I can see why Hughes would be the logical replacement for Warner at the top of the order, but still, I can understand why he's not in the squad. He's a known quantity - you know what you're going to get - good fielding, aggressive off-side play that will score a lot if he doesn't edge to the slips in his first couple of overs, and sufficient ability behind the stumps for when the bowler tries high-fiving Haddin after taking a wicket. We know what we'll get from Hughes. Meanwhile, the squad's got a few 'experimental' type players in it, so my guess is that CA's using this series as a chance to figure out what their squad is going to be for the World Cup, to trial a few players for it.

  • Sir_Francis on August 13, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    Nice words from Clarke (& maybe Marsh) but I don't believe it. He should never have been dropped after his batting in Headingley last year. And to leave him out of the SA tour for Marsh (!!!??? seriously) & Doolan because they were better players agains SA pace. As the articles reminds us, he scored 2 tons in only his 2nd Test, against Steyn. Since then he's been stuffed around. His only chance of playing for Australia is when Clarke & the current selectors are all gone.

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  • Sir_Francis on August 13, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    Nice words from Clarke (& maybe Marsh) but I don't believe it. He should never have been dropped after his batting in Headingley last year. And to leave him out of the SA tour for Marsh (!!!??? seriously) & Doolan because they were better players agains SA pace. As the articles reminds us, he scored 2 tons in only his 2nd Test, against Steyn. Since then he's been stuffed around. His only chance of playing for Australia is when Clarke & the current selectors are all gone.

  • MariusPontmercy94 on August 13, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    I can see why Hughes would be the logical replacement for Warner at the top of the order, but still, I can understand why he's not in the squad. He's a known quantity - you know what you're going to get - good fielding, aggressive off-side play that will score a lot if he doesn't edge to the slips in his first couple of overs, and sufficient ability behind the stumps for when the bowler tries high-fiving Haddin after taking a wicket. We know what we'll get from Hughes. Meanwhile, the squad's got a few 'experimental' type players in it, so my guess is that CA's using this series as a chance to figure out what their squad is going to be for the World Cup, to trial a few players for it.

  • on August 13, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    Among 4 players - Usman, Phil, Shaun and Alex, I MUST choose Phil, Usman, Alex and Shaun. I am shocked to see that Usman and Phil ignored by selecting Alex and Shaun. Usman is an ideal test player whereas Alex and Phil ODI. Shaun might be in between. Phil surely come forward soon, Usman should come to light by this year...

  • David_Boon on August 13, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Got to wonder what the point of these Australia A games is when a bloke can smash a double ton, plus another ton and a couple of 50s and still not get picked.

  • anver777 on August 13, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    Clarke is spot on here.... highly talented Hughes is certainly a long term investment for AUS cricket, but unfortunately he has not cemented his place in the side thus far. One of the reason is he's not performing consistently enough in international games. Three comebacks in his career tells the whole story......... Any way like Clarke said, I wish Hughes will play 100+ tests for AUS !!!!!

  • Thuram3 on August 13, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    I like Phil Hughes, he is a fantastic player in my opinion...hopefully he'll achieve all of those things...

  • jeroenn on August 13, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    Isn't it still a huge concern that Phil has a huge margin of error when conditions favour the bowler? A great batsman on good tracks a number 11 equivalent in a sticky situation. Phil will very rarely rescue his team mates to win a match. According to this criteria I think Alex has the best technique to fight and turn things around.

  • Sexysteven on August 13, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    Yea phil hughes interesting I'm sure he can play 100 tests for Aussie but it's upto him to fix up his technique so he can do that he nicks off a lot for someone with his talent but that can be fixed by leaving more balls and making the bowlers bowl into his areas then he can milk them for runs and hopefully become more consistent

  • othello22 on August 13, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Look, it's all very simple. Hughes scored cavalier twin tons against the might of SA and everyone was very impressed. Then footage was studied, and it was determined that if you don't bowl wide half trackers and half volleys five thousand miles outside the off stump, he had no shots. He has not really found his rhythm again since and has become a walking wicket on seaming decks against decent quality bowling. I like the guy,I am secretly willing him to become this 100-test run machine that Clarke, Ponting and everyone else has talked him up as being, but his international record is patchy at best. Some players can make hay in domestic cricket but just can't seem to find the extra something to succeed internationally. I fear Hughes is one of these players.

  • milepost on August 13, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    Just shows the depth Australia have that that can leave out players making loads of runs or taking loads of wickets. The Ashes is a mere formality with the Aussies to retain them 5-0.