Hughes wants to build on strong openings
Phillip Hughes is pleased with the consistency of his opening partnership with Aaron Finch so far in the ODI series against India. They put on 110, 74 and 68 in the first three matches and Hughes said they would have liked to have made larger stands.
"Aaron's very good to bat with," Hughes said on the eve of the fourth ODI in Ranchi. "Standing at the other end, I've got the best seat in the house when he goes off. We've had a really good relationship over the last five to ten years actually. We roomed together at the academy and always kept in touch. Aaron's just a fantastic guy and cricketer. I love going out to bat with him.
"The one disappointing thing is that we'd like to make the partnership bigger and try and take the game on even more. We've been quite consistent in the first three games and we've spoken about not looking too far ahead. Hopefully we can keep posting totals on the board and setting the guys that come in through the middle order."
Australia's captain George Bailey has built on the starts Hughes and Finch have provided. He is the second highest run-getter in the series after Virat Kohli, with 220 runs. Hughes said Bailey had been "outstanding".
"He [Bailey] is really leading from the front," Hughes said. "He is a real good character and we all love playing under George. He has been very consistent in the one-day format in the last 12 months. Again in this series, he has batted really beautifully, great to see the leader lead from the front."
Hughes has made 47, 83 and 22 in the series. When Australia lost all four Tests in India earlier this year, he had tallied 147 over eight innings at an average of 18.37, falling repeatedly against the India spinners. Hughes said Australia had moved on from that failure.
"The Test series a few months back wasn't as successful. For us to lose that series 4-0 was extremely disappointing. I suppose the wickets are different and it's a white ball. But there are a couple of things that I obviously picked up and worked on. That was the first time that I had toured India on an international tour and Test series. It's a nice thing to have toured and come back and score a few runs."
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting had called Hughes "clearly our best young batsman in the country," and said he should be given a long run in the side. Hughes started the recent Ashes in England with an unbeaten 81 at Trent Bridge but was left out after following that up with a duck in the second innings and making 1 and 1 at Lord's. Hughes was grateful for Ponting's praise.
"That's the first I've heard of it. It's great when a great player of Ricky's calibre comes out and says that and supports you. It's a fantastic feeling. For me personally it's just about being as consistent as possible and continuing to keep performing. I'm just grateful to be in this one-day side. I want to keep putting consistent scores on the board and hopefully set up wins for Australia."