Australia in South Africa 2011-12 October 22, 2011

We know how to bowl to Hughes now - Steyn

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Africa's spearhead Dale Steyn has said Phillip Hughes will not have it quite so easy on his return to the scene of a remarkably successful debut series in 2009.

Hughes made 415 runs in the three Tests including a century in each innings of the second match in Durban, a pivotal contribution as Australia took an unbeatable 2-0 lead. However Steyn said Hughes' runs arrived at least partly because the home side did not know how to bowl at him, and would be far better equipped this time.

''Not to take anything away from Phillip, he played unbelievably well against us when he came here and it looked like we didn't know where to bowl to him in all honesty, and that's, I think, why he got off to such a fantastic start,'' Steyn told The Age. ''England is the team that really sorted him out and since he scored those two hundreds against us I don't think he got another one until the last Test in Sri Lanka.''

Steyn said the 2009 team had bowled too impetuously at Hughes, in contrast to the relentless lines of attack England used in both the 2009 and 2010-11 Ashes series, in which Hughes did not once pass 50 in five matches.

''From what I remember we bowled too wide to him,'' Steyn said. ''One of the things we said was that we didn't want to bowl wide to him, and then we did. It was one of those childish things where you say to a kid, 'don't touch the frying pan, you're going to burn yourself', and then you end up touching the frying pan and burn yourself.

"The English side found a way of getting him out, and quite easily getting him out, so I will go through those videos. I'm a little bit wiser, a little bit smarter now. Obviously he opens the batting for Australia, so anybody who is a good player can score runs somewhere along the line, but he will definitely have his weaknesses.

"We haven't played a lot against him since then, so I will have to go through a couple of things and see where we went wrong and hopefully we can rectify that.''

Steyn also expressed surprise that Simon Katich was not still a part of the Australian squad, having lost his Cricket Australia contract in mid-year. Katich was also successful at the top of the order in the 2009 series.

''The way he moves around the crease, he is able to control where he wants to hit the ball. It's incredible,'' Steyn said. ''It's surprising that he is not there because he is one of those real Aussie players, a gutsy, strong character. He even looks like the epitome of an Australian opening batsman from years back.

"In a weird way I'm quite happy he's not playing, but you want to compete against guys like that, and for his sake I think he should be there.''

Comments