August 21, 2013

Losing Phil Hughes

He was a magical player when he made his Test debut, but the establishment's orthodoxy, confusion and fear have reduced him to a shadow of his old self
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Phil Hughes' career is a cautionary tale of Australia losing trust in itself © Getty Images

At the start of the 2009 season, on a rare foray into actual cricket journalism, I went to Middlesex's pre-season press conference at Lord's. It was packed with chattering hacks, enticed not by the opening of the county championship but the presence of Andrew Strauss, giving his first interviews of an Ashes season, and the introduction of Angus Fraser's latest signing, a kid from a banana farm in New South Wales, who, in between inking his contract and arriving in a chilled and grey England, had made a sensational entry into Test cricket in South Africa. He had shrugged off a four-ball duck in his debut innings to make scores of 75, 115 and 160 in his next three, and had dismantled a bowling attack that consisted of Steyn, Ntini, Morkel and Kallis in their own backyard with a series of unconventional and thrilling assaults.

It was no surprise. His life had been filled with such success: he scored 141 not out on his grade debut in Sydney, made 51 and 137 for New South Wales seconds to ensure a first-class debut where he'd got 51, and then scored a match-winning hundred in his first Pura Cup final. He was on the endless upward curve of the great player.

Phil Hughes came into the room. He was tiny, with one of those faces that might have been staring at you in sepia from a bygone age. His eyes were sharp and bright. He had presence, X-factor, star quality. It was like looking at a young racehorse.

During a green and wet springtime, he batted five times for Middlesex in the Championship, made three hundreds and two fifties and averaged 143.50. A country kid from rural New South Wales with a technique all of his own and a fresh and rapid eye… Well.

Three Test match innings later, after scores of 36, 4 and 17, with his average still above 50, Hughes was dropped by Australia for the first time. At the root of this decision was fear. Fear that the way he batted was not suited to Test cricket, fear that the Ashes might be lost, fear that the Australian era was coming to an end.

The corrosive quality of fear has reduced Phil Hughes. When I see him bat now, he is a shadow of the player who carved apart almost every bowler he faced for the first 20 years of his life. When I see him speak, he is nervy, diminished, deferential. The sharp glare in his eye has gone. He doesn't open the batting anymore. He is 24 years old and might be changed irrevocably. No one is asking why.

He was, like Bradman, a country boy coming out of nowhere, defying convention. Where The Don picked the bat up differently, Hughes ignored one of the immutable laws of batting and stayed leg side of the ball, from where he carved and sliced through the off side and mowed down the ground like Nadal hitting a low forehand. Even in an age at ease with unorthodoxy Hughes was too much, and yet it was unorthodoxy that made him devastating, that set him apart.

The great and unmentioned facet of the way he played was that staying leg side of the rising ball had always been, in the accomplished batsman, a mark of cowardice. The only reason for not getting into line was a fear of being hit. That wasn't why Hughes did it, but he was fighting a century's worth of conventional wisdom, and almost subconsciously it played into a wider notion that he would have to reinvent his technique if he was to succeed as a Test match player.

The weird magic that Phil Hughes possessed has all but perished in the effort to do so.

He went to his first Test hundred with consecutive sixes. Fear was not in his mind then. Fear is everywhere now.

To a greater or lesser extent, every player gets found out, worked out, worked over. For the best, this happens at Test level because it's the only standard high enough to do it. Nothing unexpected happened to Phil Hughes. What's shocking is how quickly he was first discarded and how completely his methods were written off. Orthodoxy has laid low something special. Hughes was an extraordinary sight, an outlier, and that has been lost in the doubt and confusion of his coaches.

Before technique, cricket is a game of hand-eye co-ordination, something given its perfect iteration by Virender Sehwag's irreducibly brilliant "see ball, hit ball". Great players from Bradman to Sehwag have understood this and played the game their way, shifting its parameters to accommodate their vision. Their faith in the way they did what they did was never undermined.

Hughes is a paradigm for Australian cricket, which no longer trusts itself. He should be burning with anger at what has been taken away, and use that anger to fuel a return to what he was. He has nothing more to lose now.

Jon Hotten blogs here and tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mitty2 on August 22, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    Those two centuries were certainly one of the best batting performances I have ever seen - audacious, brilliant and natural. What Hughes did in that test was a perfect display of natural, homegrown batting talent and how management and coaches dropped him in the '09 ashes and ruined his effective technique - yes, effective - remains one of the more recent sporting disgraces in Australia (losing to the Lions is the worst). But don't worry, Hughes has come back, he's becoming more in tune with his new technique after it being dismantled in India - he's averaging 60+ on tour. This all despite being shuffled to every possible position in the mean time. He has just scored one of his best test innings at TB and all's looking good. But no, one test and he's gone. One an incredibly marginal LBW call and the other a decision that hot spot showed no mark. But OK, we'll drop him for Warner - a bloke who shouldn't even be in England.

    Hughes has done not a thing wrong this series. Disgraceful.

  • on August 22, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    Hughesy will remain the bestbatting talent to come out of Aus for the next decade. So sooner rather than later the selectors have to give him a long rope at opening. My preferred combination for the return series would be Hughes opening with Rogers. Warner has not been that great in that position and Hughes has a far superior record.

  • on August 21, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    Top article. The bloke was destined to be a superstar. Still hoping he can build some confidence and get back to where he was, but the Australian selectors (and public) have let him down.

  • hyclass on August 25, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    @Mad_Hamish, I can hardly blame you for pointing to the effects rather than the cause. They are the same effects that have brought us all so much frustration. One does wonder if he will ever be encouraged to play his original game, maliciously and permanently tampered with by his own squad members, before the Lions game. I can barely bring myself to watch this 'sanitized' CA authorised version of Hughes. I have asked myself for years why he doesn't revert to his original game and be damned, rather than eking out this shadowed, institutionally approved existence. When one has been in the presence of rare genius, one understands that it takes rare injustice to obscure it. He is playing a version of cricket that was forced upon him by his own organisation, rather than the opposition. The myth has revolved around him, being found out.' Again, it makes one bitter to know that little could be further from the truth and for those who can stir themselves to look, the evidence is everywhere.

  • BobFleming on August 22, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    I think the description of him as a racehorse is wide of the mark.. but not by much. In fact, he was more like a unicorn.. magical, effervescent.. but ultimately too fragile to survive in the real world.

  • Harlequin. on August 22, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    I can never understand a coach who tries to change the technique of someone who has got to test level. If they got to test level on the back of it, then clearly their technique is working for them. Jimmy Anderson is a classic case when they tried to remodel his action. It seems to be a case of over eager coaches trying to meddle, not looking at results and not being brave enough to back a player who does something different. Although looking at Steve Smith and the success he is having with Australia at the moment, perhaps they are learning!

  • Mad_Hamish on August 22, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Phil Hughes 26 tests, 1535 runs @ 32.65 3 100s and 7 50s Dave Warner 22 tests 1389 runs @ 37.54 3 100s and 8 50s. How does Hughes have a far superior record?

    Since Hughes' debut series he's played 43 innings and averaged 27 with 1 100 and 6 50s. Not good enough and if he's been shattered by being dropped then tough, it's happened to damned near everybody (including Bradman).

  • xrocks on August 22, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    Hughes shld take a leaf out of Viru and Chanders and try to make a name for himself.Hope the selectors play him as an opener rather than a no.6.It was so disheartening to see an opener play at no.6.I don't understand what the Aussie think tanks were doing?

  • hyclass on August 22, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    @amitgarg78...I understand your reservations when comparisons are made with the wonderful Sehwag, but Hughes challenges arrived with orthodoxy, not without. His remodelled game is more front on and the arc of his bat is different. It allows almost no room for him to adjust to swing,spin or bounce. The team was already replete with orthodox batsmen who were failing. By remaining leg-side of the ball, he stayed side-on, creating a longer and more natural arc of the bat to deal with movement and bounce.Those who speak of Hughes from the Lions game onwards have been misled.A quick review of his twin 100's highlights v SA on Youtube will reward you. I consider him up to that point to be a prodigy, second only to Bradman in Aus cricket, in the quality and results that he was demonstrating.That they havent been fulfilled is not as big a tragedy as the lack of support and very public campaign encouraged by CA into his perceived failings and their cause.History will show it to have been wrong.

  • hyclass on August 22, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    @John-Price, the question of cause and effect arises. The SA attack that he flayed had over 1100 Test wickets, including Steyn,Ntini, Morkel, Kallis & Harris. They served it up to him at high speed with traps in place & failed. The highlights can still be seen on Youtube of his 115 & 160 to dispel doubts, including myth busting leg side boundaries. His run before the Eng Lions game was 1637 runs with 8 Centuries at 96 from 10 games. The change came when, on joining the Ashes squad & before the Lions game, he was instructed to 'prepare differently in a way that was unsuited to his game'. His long time mentor, DeCosta made a public statement to that effect. It's hardly surprising that when being asked to reinvent an unorthodox but fabulously successful game at international level, literally overnight, that he lacked answers. I'm astonished that no-one asked. He was placed in a spiteful position, where he wouldn't be selected unless he changed to their way, but couldnt succeed if he did.

  • Mitty2 on August 22, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    Those two centuries were certainly one of the best batting performances I have ever seen - audacious, brilliant and natural. What Hughes did in that test was a perfect display of natural, homegrown batting talent and how management and coaches dropped him in the '09 ashes and ruined his effective technique - yes, effective - remains one of the more recent sporting disgraces in Australia (losing to the Lions is the worst). But don't worry, Hughes has come back, he's becoming more in tune with his new technique after it being dismantled in India - he's averaging 60+ on tour. This all despite being shuffled to every possible position in the mean time. He has just scored one of his best test innings at TB and all's looking good. But no, one test and he's gone. One an incredibly marginal LBW call and the other a decision that hot spot showed no mark. But OK, we'll drop him for Warner - a bloke who shouldn't even be in England.

    Hughes has done not a thing wrong this series. Disgraceful.

  • on August 22, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    Hughesy will remain the bestbatting talent to come out of Aus for the next decade. So sooner rather than later the selectors have to give him a long rope at opening. My preferred combination for the return series would be Hughes opening with Rogers. Warner has not been that great in that position and Hughes has a far superior record.

  • on August 21, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    Top article. The bloke was destined to be a superstar. Still hoping he can build some confidence and get back to where he was, but the Australian selectors (and public) have let him down.

  • hyclass on August 25, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    @Mad_Hamish, I can hardly blame you for pointing to the effects rather than the cause. They are the same effects that have brought us all so much frustration. One does wonder if he will ever be encouraged to play his original game, maliciously and permanently tampered with by his own squad members, before the Lions game. I can barely bring myself to watch this 'sanitized' CA authorised version of Hughes. I have asked myself for years why he doesn't revert to his original game and be damned, rather than eking out this shadowed, institutionally approved existence. When one has been in the presence of rare genius, one understands that it takes rare injustice to obscure it. He is playing a version of cricket that was forced upon him by his own organisation, rather than the opposition. The myth has revolved around him, being found out.' Again, it makes one bitter to know that little could be further from the truth and for those who can stir themselves to look, the evidence is everywhere.

  • BobFleming on August 22, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    I think the description of him as a racehorse is wide of the mark.. but not by much. In fact, he was more like a unicorn.. magical, effervescent.. but ultimately too fragile to survive in the real world.

  • Harlequin. on August 22, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    I can never understand a coach who tries to change the technique of someone who has got to test level. If they got to test level on the back of it, then clearly their technique is working for them. Jimmy Anderson is a classic case when they tried to remodel his action. It seems to be a case of over eager coaches trying to meddle, not looking at results and not being brave enough to back a player who does something different. Although looking at Steve Smith and the success he is having with Australia at the moment, perhaps they are learning!

  • Mad_Hamish on August 22, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Phil Hughes 26 tests, 1535 runs @ 32.65 3 100s and 7 50s Dave Warner 22 tests 1389 runs @ 37.54 3 100s and 8 50s. How does Hughes have a far superior record?

    Since Hughes' debut series he's played 43 innings and averaged 27 with 1 100 and 6 50s. Not good enough and if he's been shattered by being dropped then tough, it's happened to damned near everybody (including Bradman).

  • xrocks on August 22, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    Hughes shld take a leaf out of Viru and Chanders and try to make a name for himself.Hope the selectors play him as an opener rather than a no.6.It was so disheartening to see an opener play at no.6.I don't understand what the Aussie think tanks were doing?

  • hyclass on August 22, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    @amitgarg78...I understand your reservations when comparisons are made with the wonderful Sehwag, but Hughes challenges arrived with orthodoxy, not without. His remodelled game is more front on and the arc of his bat is different. It allows almost no room for him to adjust to swing,spin or bounce. The team was already replete with orthodox batsmen who were failing. By remaining leg-side of the ball, he stayed side-on, creating a longer and more natural arc of the bat to deal with movement and bounce.Those who speak of Hughes from the Lions game onwards have been misled.A quick review of his twin 100's highlights v SA on Youtube will reward you. I consider him up to that point to be a prodigy, second only to Bradman in Aus cricket, in the quality and results that he was demonstrating.That they havent been fulfilled is not as big a tragedy as the lack of support and very public campaign encouraged by CA into his perceived failings and their cause.History will show it to have been wrong.

  • hyclass on August 22, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    @John-Price, the question of cause and effect arises. The SA attack that he flayed had over 1100 Test wickets, including Steyn,Ntini, Morkel, Kallis & Harris. They served it up to him at high speed with traps in place & failed. The highlights can still be seen on Youtube of his 115 & 160 to dispel doubts, including myth busting leg side boundaries. His run before the Eng Lions game was 1637 runs with 8 Centuries at 96 from 10 games. The change came when, on joining the Ashes squad & before the Lions game, he was instructed to 'prepare differently in a way that was unsuited to his game'. His long time mentor, DeCosta made a public statement to that effect. It's hardly surprising that when being asked to reinvent an unorthodox but fabulously successful game at international level, literally overnight, that he lacked answers. I'm astonished that no-one asked. He was placed in a spiteful position, where he wouldn't be selected unless he changed to their way, but couldnt succeed if he did.

  • hyclass on August 22, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Fantastic article. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. I've been writing this exact post since 2009 and yours is the first to highlight it,with one caveat-that of cause and effect. His coach and mentor DeCosta said publicly that on joining the Ashes squad in '09, he was,'forced to prepare differently in a manner that was unsuited to him.'Why weren't questions asked. Nielsen made it clear that,'he hadn't been in expected to do so well and wasn't in their original Ashes plan-Watson was.' There was a mirroring of the English selections by type that was a theory in vogue. It has long been my contention that,far from being found out,which on the face of it was laughable after his triumphs v the far superior SA attack and at Middlesex,that he was following forced instructions to play a different game with more orthodoxy. I'm still enraged that he has borne this scar publicly for a campaign invented by CA. I considered him a prodigy, because of his unorthodox play and the reasons you have outlined

  • John-Price on August 22, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    One item omitted from this account is his appearance against England Lions at Worcester in 2009. Steve Harmison made him look vulnerable to the short bal, hit him oncel and got him cheaply twice. This gave England confidence against him in the test series and this game was seen as part of a sequence of low scores which led to his being dropped.He has never really recovered and when he appeared in county cricket (again at Worcester) he was a much more introverted batsman.

  • MaruthuDelft on August 22, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    The writer is right; you can't score 2 centuries against SA in a test in SA if you don't have something special. Hughes; just think of that and whack whoever bowl at you when you are given the chance next time.

  • MaruthuDelft on August 22, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    The writer is right; you can't score 2 centuries against SA in a test in SA if you don't have something special. Hughes; just think of that and whack whoever bowl at you when you are given the chance next time.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 22, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Whatever, bowlers figured him out. He's not the first. And he's not Bradman.

  • on August 22, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    Sooooooo sad. hey - hes 24. I cant help but talk about a player who stays leg side of the rising ball and has possibly changed the way an opener may / can bat. Virender. Sehwag. questions were asked of his technique too. Phil can make it - he should just back his instincts now. frankly - hes got nothing to lose - isnt it???? Hes got a model in Sehwag. its in the mind. you are good. bat like a mad man and make the bowler the hunted guy.

  • amitgarg78 on August 22, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    Big diff between sehwag and Hughes. Veeru has a better technique than he is credited for. Hughes can't seem to handle quality swing and spin. It's not the unorthodox style but his inability to adapt his game that has been his undoing. I wonder if playing county more often than the shield might benefit him more.

  • on August 21, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    I really dislike it when people use Sehwag as an example of unconventional technique.

    People need to remember that when he first came into the side he was basically a Tendulkar clone. He modeled himself with perfectly conventional technique, he just played a few more shots (just as Tendulkar had done through the 90s and early 2000s). It's the same with David Warner - just because he can play a switch hit doesn't mean that he doesn't get his head over the ball when he drives or gets into perfect position with his cut shots.

    That's not to mean that unconventional techniques don't work. Just pick a better example. Chanderpaul is a far better comparison to draw. Relative aggression is irrelevant when talking about technique.

  • dutchy on August 21, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    I agree with Clinton - Hughes probably would have been given another chance if Johnson hadn't been so uneven with the ball and they wanted Watson as a back up.

    For some reason there's this group of journos who are forever writing "poor Phil Hughes" articles. The fact is, the guy has been given lots of chances - a hell of a lot more than players like David Hussey, Chris Rogers or Mark Cosgrove.

  • dabbler on August 21, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    "No one is asking why". Terrific article. Convention means just that -- convention. It doesn't mean 'right'. Hughes is an extraordinary talent who is in danger of being lost. When I see him bat nowadays, I often wonder if this is the same guy who once gave bradmanesque performances as a matter of habit. He's not. But I hope he regains his animal spirit and plays Test cricket for a long time. Have belief, Phil!

  • jlw74 on August 21, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    Brilliant article, so well put. Hughes is the poster child for Australian cricket's current dysfunction. I hope with time still on his side this exciting, unorthodox star can still be the 8000 + run test cricketer he seemed destined to be. If you read this Phil do not give up son.

  • vsssarma on August 21, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Australia has this habit of dumping somebody with potential. Look at Tim Paine. He got 4 test matches, scored 287 runs and took 17 catches. He could have walked into the team as a batsman and if Haddin had suffered a sprain, would have kept wickets. Darren Lehmann, BJ Hodge, Simon Katich are the others who come to mind. MS Wade did well in tests but couldn't get a place. Perhaps Pat Cummins was mis-handled too. Should they have removed Jackson Bird after taking 13 wkts in 3 tests ? In their last visit to England, Hilfenhaus bowled very well and should have gone there this time.

    Phil Hughes started off very well against SAF but then his performances deteriorated but for a minor innings here and there. He lacked consistency. Australia in their low moment of batting should have thought of George Bailey and Adam Voges to prop up their batting.

  • on August 21, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Please, hughes was never an outlier, if Murali could bat a bit better and make a few runs, he would be an outlier too with his unique technique, the obsession with Hughes is what has caused all the problems. Hughes kept finding his way back into the team, when he should not have. You kept praising him for his game, when none existed, Sehwag did not run away from the ball, he met it head on, Hughes with his trigger movement of going back and away from the ball is kinda like a tailender trying to just survive. It may work at the first class level, but it will not work at the test level, just like Watson will keep on getting LBW. The fact is, that Rogers should have been picked as soon Katich was dropped, or Langer retired, but everyone failed, you, your media, and the selectors to point it out. You were in a hurry to throw out folks and hence the reuslt is what we have today.

  • meanmen on August 21, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    I don't think Hughes is as good as is made out to be in this article. He may have been badly treated but the fact is he isn't good enough technically. He can score runs one season and be out of touch for the next three. While he is at the crease, you can never be certain of his stay. Just not good enough..

  • nthuq on August 21, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Hughes must be given a full season or two of the Shield. In the half season he played in last year, he scored 2 hundreds and seemed well on the way to being the first player in many years to get a thousand runs in a Shield season.

  • on August 21, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Hughes being dropped after the first 2 Tests of the 2009 Ashes series was more to do with the fact that the selectors had no idea how Mitchell Johnson was going to bowl in the 3rd Test of that series - Watson was chosen as an extra bowling option in case Johnson repeated his erratic Lords' performance and unfortunately for Hughes he was the odd man out due to the need to play Watson (Who had never opened at Test level prior to the match).

  • on August 21, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    great article, players are over coached now days,

  • on August 21, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    great article, players are over coached now days,

  • on August 21, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Hughes being dropped after the first 2 Tests of the 2009 Ashes series was more to do with the fact that the selectors had no idea how Mitchell Johnson was going to bowl in the 3rd Test of that series - Watson was chosen as an extra bowling option in case Johnson repeated his erratic Lords' performance and unfortunately for Hughes he was the odd man out due to the need to play Watson (Who had never opened at Test level prior to the match).

  • nthuq on August 21, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Hughes must be given a full season or two of the Shield. In the half season he played in last year, he scored 2 hundreds and seemed well on the way to being the first player in many years to get a thousand runs in a Shield season.

  • meanmen on August 21, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    I don't think Hughes is as good as is made out to be in this article. He may have been badly treated but the fact is he isn't good enough technically. He can score runs one season and be out of touch for the next three. While he is at the crease, you can never be certain of his stay. Just not good enough..

  • on August 21, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Please, hughes was never an outlier, if Murali could bat a bit better and make a few runs, he would be an outlier too with his unique technique, the obsession with Hughes is what has caused all the problems. Hughes kept finding his way back into the team, when he should not have. You kept praising him for his game, when none existed, Sehwag did not run away from the ball, he met it head on, Hughes with his trigger movement of going back and away from the ball is kinda like a tailender trying to just survive. It may work at the first class level, but it will not work at the test level, just like Watson will keep on getting LBW. The fact is, that Rogers should have been picked as soon Katich was dropped, or Langer retired, but everyone failed, you, your media, and the selectors to point it out. You were in a hurry to throw out folks and hence the reuslt is what we have today.

  • vsssarma on August 21, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Australia has this habit of dumping somebody with potential. Look at Tim Paine. He got 4 test matches, scored 287 runs and took 17 catches. He could have walked into the team as a batsman and if Haddin had suffered a sprain, would have kept wickets. Darren Lehmann, BJ Hodge, Simon Katich are the others who come to mind. MS Wade did well in tests but couldn't get a place. Perhaps Pat Cummins was mis-handled too. Should they have removed Jackson Bird after taking 13 wkts in 3 tests ? In their last visit to England, Hilfenhaus bowled very well and should have gone there this time.

    Phil Hughes started off very well against SAF but then his performances deteriorated but for a minor innings here and there. He lacked consistency. Australia in their low moment of batting should have thought of George Bailey and Adam Voges to prop up their batting.

  • jlw74 on August 21, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    Brilliant article, so well put. Hughes is the poster child for Australian cricket's current dysfunction. I hope with time still on his side this exciting, unorthodox star can still be the 8000 + run test cricketer he seemed destined to be. If you read this Phil do not give up son.

  • dabbler on August 21, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    "No one is asking why". Terrific article. Convention means just that -- convention. It doesn't mean 'right'. Hughes is an extraordinary talent who is in danger of being lost. When I see him bat nowadays, I often wonder if this is the same guy who once gave bradmanesque performances as a matter of habit. He's not. But I hope he regains his animal spirit and plays Test cricket for a long time. Have belief, Phil!

  • dutchy on August 21, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    I agree with Clinton - Hughes probably would have been given another chance if Johnson hadn't been so uneven with the ball and they wanted Watson as a back up.

    For some reason there's this group of journos who are forever writing "poor Phil Hughes" articles. The fact is, the guy has been given lots of chances - a hell of a lot more than players like David Hussey, Chris Rogers or Mark Cosgrove.

  • on August 21, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    I really dislike it when people use Sehwag as an example of unconventional technique.

    People need to remember that when he first came into the side he was basically a Tendulkar clone. He modeled himself with perfectly conventional technique, he just played a few more shots (just as Tendulkar had done through the 90s and early 2000s). It's the same with David Warner - just because he can play a switch hit doesn't mean that he doesn't get his head over the ball when he drives or gets into perfect position with his cut shots.

    That's not to mean that unconventional techniques don't work. Just pick a better example. Chanderpaul is a far better comparison to draw. Relative aggression is irrelevant when talking about technique.