New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, Wellington, 5th day

Australia's 'Sehwag' unlikely for second Test

Brydon Coverdale at the Basin Reserve

March 23, 2010

Comments: 85 | Text size: A | A

Phillip Hughes ducks under a ball during his brutal display, New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, 5th day, Wellington, March 23, 2010
Phillip Hughes, who blazed to an unbeaten 86, faces an uncomfortable wait to learn if he holds his spot in Hamilton © Getty Images
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Australia are confident Shane Watson will return for the second Test in Hamilton, which would mean the axe for Phillip Hughes despite his final-day blitz at the Basin Reserve. Hughes raced to an unbeaten 86 from 75 deliveries, dominating Australia's successful chase of 106, but will probably have to wait for his eighth Test after the team's physio Alex Kountouris rated Watson a "better than even-money bet" to play at Seddon Park from Saturday.

It was only Watson's hip injury that allowed Hughes to come in for the first Test and he impressed the captain Ricky Ponting by giving Australia a bright start in the first innings and then guiding the chase. Hughes had not passed fifty in a Test since he struck two centuries in Durban last year and Ponting said he could take plenty away from his performance in Wellington.

"Every opportunity and every bit of exposure he gets is going to be good for him in the long run," Ponting said. "He's just such an exciting player. When he gets in that frame of mind there when the ball's in his area, it's going to go. If he keeps getting off to starts like that in Test cricket, it really sets up games. I'll encourage him to keep playing that way.

"Someone like Virender Sehwag is a fairly similar Test match opener to what Hughesy is. Being that sort of player you will have your ups and downs but when you are up you win games and you give your side a good chance to win games."

The success of the No. 6 Marcus North, who entered the match under pressure and made an unbeaten century, means Hughes and Watson cannot fit into one side this week. Just as important as Watson's batting is his role as a fourth fast bowler, which could be more relevant than usual when the next team is selected.

Both teams have only three days between Tests and the fast men will be particularly exhausted after spending four consecutive days, totalling 787 minutes, in the field. It was especially difficult for the debutant Ryan Harris, who toiled into the harsh Wellington wind for most of his 41 overs, having played no other first-class cricket since early December, when he took part in his only Sheffield Shield match of the season.

"He's definitely feeling the pinch, as is Dougie [Bollinger]," Ponting said. "Mitch [Johnson's] workload over the last couple of years has been exceptional anyway, the way he's managed to get through and keep presenting in a really good shape. We have to manage them really well in the next couple of days.

"[Watson] just gives us so much better balance in our side, the fact that you can throw the ball to him and he can get his 10 or 15 overs out per innings. Every team in the world is after someone who bats in the top six and can bowl like he does. He has shown since he has been in our side just how important he is, so hopefully we'll get him back. If we do it means the bowlers won't have to do as much next week."

It was the fast bowlers who ran through New Zealand's lower order on the fifth morning and ensured a small target of 106 for Australia. Harris began with the key wicket of Brendon McCullum and collected two more, before Johnson finished the innings by bowling Chris Martin.

The result justified Ponting's decision to enforce the follow-on for the second time this summer, a call that began to look a little questionable on the fourth day when McCullum and Daniel Vettori put together a frustrating partnership of 126. However, Ponting said at no stage did he regret declaring so early or bowling again, as the unpredictable Wellington conditions meant he had little choice.

"The declaration had a lot to do with what I knew about the weather coming," he said. "We could have batted on and got 600 or whatever we wanted to, but by doing that and losing the majority of the day yesterday, it would have been touch and go whether we would have got a result in the game. For me and the Australian cricket team it's all about giving ourselves the best chance of winning.

"We've done it really well. I'm happy the way the bowlers have stuck at it the last couple of days. We've been in the field for four consecutive days, so they're all a little bit tired and sore in the rooms and we'll give them a couple of days off and make sure they're in as good a shape as they can be for the start of the next one."

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by knowledge_eater on (March 26, 2010, 14:29 GMT)

@ Marty NO man I am not fan of country music. I heard his one song this aint country, he is great but I will pass. I like my Coldplay & LP, I don't hate miley, but because of "overboard fan following" lot of teenagers are not studying well in high school, and they end up ruining their opp. to get proper knowledge. When they become older, they whine about everything. Anyway, why on earth I am saying all this lol, back to cricket yeah Aussy produce best cricketers (all 11) till this date. However, I believe they are expected to produce great athletes, if I make a list of number medals they win in Olympics and compare to other countries, then you will see what point do I want to make. Its lame excuse, I know but come on, decent sport awareness came to other countries in last 40 years. There are more Aussy cricketer fans in India than even Aus. It was becoming like by default they are expected to win, others have to stop them. Watch out Next 20 years it will be very stiff competition Peace

Posted by   on (March 26, 2010, 10:29 GMT)

How can one compare a batsman like Sehwag who scored three triple centures to a batsman like Hughes who has a become a overhyped player with just a 89.It would have made some sense if you people compared the playing style of Sehwag to the likes of Gilly and Hayden.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2010, 19:20 GMT)

haHa knowledgeman you must be one of the haters ! Im a fan of lots of music miley not one of them ! ididnt put that on my page but im not proud My favourite is David Allen Coe actually check him out ! and im a big fan of cricket ! take a look at the scoreboard ! Ive bin waiting along time to hear back because most things i say make sense your comment dosnt have anything to do with cricket ! Go AUSTRALIA ! AND GO HUGHSEY !

Posted by knowledge_eater on (March 25, 2010, 18:46 GMT)

@RobOfBruce haha spot on but you should also ask the author of this article, who have once won the "giving best title" award. Don't hate fans mate, they are the one who show up in big numbers when cricket is played. They are the one who sits in front of TV for hours to see one four for their star players. May be Indian media stock is not fooling themselves after all. The article was much needed, when IPL noise was reaching Aus. and it was harassing them to concentrate on Test. I support punters comment if you have read my earlier response, he has put Hughes in very hot spot. So may be GH was right, everyone needs controversy. P.S. - don't get carried away from comments, because I know for fact, some comments are very very deceptive and manipulative.

Posted by RobOfBruce on (March 25, 2010, 4:12 GMT)

Someone please tell me the best Indian Media stocks to buy! Judging by the level of comment on this website by Indian fans, they have shown themsleves to be childish, irrational, and completely reactionary - perfect fodder for online media revenue. I wonder if these people actually even read the artice properly? Ponting was merely comparing the fact that both Hughes and Sehwag have similar, unorthodox, & attacking methods that give your team a great foundation when they manage to pull it off. That's it. Nothing more to be read into it. No comparing of records. No other comparisons at all actually. Anything else is fanciful speculation. READ THE ARTICLE CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU MAKE COMMENT AND A FOOL OF YOURSELF.

Posted by Bengaluru_baay on (March 24, 2010, 23:19 GMT)

Sehwag?? It is sad that a man of Ponting's intelligence is selling Hughesy short... I mean Hughesy with his staggering test record of 7 matches...13 innings...at a whopping strike rate of 61 v/s Sehwag with a paltry 76 test...130 innings..at an abysmal strike rate of 81...also forget about sehwag's two 300+ scores...300s are sooooo overrated man!

Posted by BillyCC on (March 24, 2010, 22:43 GMT)

Please check your facts Kelvin TR before commenting on the forum. The Australians never playing on the subcontinent is merely illusory. Australia only play once every 4 years in England, South Africa and West Indies. In the previous decade, Australia toured India the same number of times as they toured England and South Africa and toured more times than the West Indies. They won once, and lost twice. Australia walloped Sri Lanka in their own backyard 3-0. They also beat Pakistan in the most oppressive of conditions in the UAE. If you would like to see Australia playing more on the subcontinent, then look no further than the cricket boards in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. They are the ones who must offer the schedule to the away team.

Posted by knowledge_eater on (March 24, 2010, 22:35 GMT)

I was going to comment back on Marty Astone, but then I found out, he likes Miley Cyrus. So, I am not commenting, I am never fan of harassing kids. Hahaha Miley Cyrus Epic ROFL What's your next next secret ? Jonas brother lol

Posted by redneck on (March 24, 2010, 22:10 GMT)

@KelvinLTR what are you talking about!??? the aussies are forever going to india!infact i cant remember the last year that we didnt have to go there! it would have to be before the 06 champions trophy for sure! and you do relise that they are playing in NZ right now!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2010, 20:47 GMT)

Ponting only says stuff like that to stir you Aussie bashers up ! it sure done the trick didnt it Sehwag hasnt caused the Aussies that much greif over the years. Us Aussies like winning ! We are arrogant about it ! Wasnt the great I.V.A Richards arrogant but you all loved him didnt you ! Sehwag is the same i think hes great but also arrogant ? I dont get the Aussie bashing thing is it because we have been the greatest team in the world for nigh on 100 years of cricket ? England maybe 20, S.A for e few, the Windies for the 80's and very early 90's and now india for 6 months. Get a grip you clowns and sit back and watch the Greatest Show On Earth ! The Australian Cricket Team

Posted by KelvinLTR on (March 24, 2010, 11:19 GMT)

I m neutral and I'm Sri Lankan... but I know how much of a pain Sehwag is for us... as for Aussies... they never really tour the subcontinent. They play in their pitches and become heros but never try to beat Sub continent teams in subcontinent...

Posted by   on (March 24, 2010, 8:48 GMT)

Sehwag!!!!!!!!!is it a daydream to see sehwag in huges? I know ponting,you are afraid of the Delhi Dazzler......Huges is not even a Uthappa.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 24, 2010, 8:14 GMT)

I don't know how AB99 arrived at the theory that Sehwag is a better batsman than Ponting. The rankings show that Ponting has spent much longer at the top than Sehwag, Ponting's average is better, he has been involved in more Test wins than Sehwag, he has scored more centuries, his technique and defence are much better. A better strike rate does not make a better batsman unless they can stick around for the same number of balls. Sehwag is better at turning the tide of a Test match, but if that is the judge of who is better, then Adam Gilchrist is better than both of them because he has a better strike rate than Sehwag and an average close to 50 as well.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (March 24, 2010, 6:02 GMT)

"Someone like Virender Sehwag is a fairly similar Test match opener to what Hughesy is. Being that sort of player you will have your ups and downs but when you are up you win games and you give your side a good chance to win games." I think Ponting was showing the support for Sehwag that I was when he was unfortunately dropped from the Ind team and guys like Khartik and Jaffer were chosen ahead of him. Considering Ponting has been a bit of a jerk in the past, I see that statement as a HUGE COMPLIMENT to both Sehwag as well as young Hughes who himself knows that he has far to go to achieve Sehwag's status. Players like Dilshan and Tamim can take heart from this statement as well.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2010, 5:45 GMT)

Punter please dont comapre sehwag with huges.. Sehwag is a much better player than ponting..... Viru u rocks...

Posted by AB99 on (March 24, 2010, 4:52 GMT)

"Someone like Virender Sehwag is a fairly similar Test match opener to what Hughesy is" ... true ... ponting was equating simlarity of the bad day at the office for sehwag with the best one hughes would have ... there is no comparision between them ... what ponting forgot is that ViruS is better than the present and the future aussie captains ... ponting and clarke ... well the icc ranking say the same as well ...

Posted by   on (March 24, 2010, 4:24 GMT)

It's quiet hilarious a statement from ponting to say "Someone like Virender Sehwag is a fairly similar Test match opener to what Hughesy is" there is no point in comparing Sehwag with Phillip hughes....the pint shld be Hughes with Sehwag.......

Posted by BillyCC on (March 24, 2010, 3:14 GMT)

I am relieved that it was not some media person dumping this title on Hughes, and that it came from Ponting. This is encouraging because it defines the role that Hughes may have in the future as an opener. Ponting is not comparing the two batsmen, but comparing their roles. Sehwag is an opener who has a free licence to score quickly and throw his wicket away without consequences. Sehwag's role is to frustrate and take momentum away from the opposition. He can win and also lose test matches for his nation. Hughes' role could be in this capacity. Obviously, if we were comparing the batsmen, Sehwag has the better technique, better shot selection, and better defence. Hughes has the better temperament though if we were comparing both of them in their early 20s.

Posted by jonesy2 on (March 24, 2010, 3:08 GMT)

Whats the big deal? hughes is probably as good as sehwag maybe not right now but he could be better sehwag is so overrated its not funny. just like chris gayle.

Posted by elsmallo on (March 24, 2010, 1:44 GMT)

Drop North. Play Watson at 6. Obvious solution. Australia need to think aggressively if they are to reclaim the top spot. Btw, 86 off 75 balls is fairly Sehwag-esque. Although obviously Sehwag would have done it off 35.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 23:49 GMT)

lol @ sensitive Indian Sehwag fans jumping up & down. Sehwag's record stands for itself, watching Hughes I saw glimpses of brillance as does R Ponting, relax Indian fans @ the moment he resembles a possible Sehwag like player. It was actually a compliment to V Sehwag from R Ponting way I saw it.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 23:32 GMT)

Will all the Sehwag fans please learn to read and evaluate critically. From the responses here, it seems the mere mention of Sehwag's name in relation to an Australian player is an insult worthy of capital punishment. All that Ponting stated was that Hughes plays in a similar style as Sehwag; ie, that he is an attacking openner. Nowhere was it stated that Hughes is as good a player as Sehwag, he obviously isn't, nor ever likely to be in my opinion. If you want to defend you idols fine, but do it against the real insults. Reacting in the manner below to every imagined slight is childish.

Posted by redneck on (March 23, 2010, 23:22 GMT)

when i saw this headline yesterday i cringed and knew exactly was comming in the comment box! hughes is an exciting prospect, and yes like sehwag is an aggressive opener but thats it! sehwags has avg over 50 from over 10 years of international cricket, hughes has a bright future but cant be compaired to sehwag this early in his career! i really hate when people compare bradman and tendulker and this isnt any better! as for the make up of the team get rid of north!!! he made a century finally!!! woopty doo, hes been given 3 consecutive test series to get his act together, they gave hughes 2 tests in the ashes then dropped him! hughes is the future for australia, north is an australia A captain at best! and his part time spin is next to useless!

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 23:15 GMT)

phillip hughes played a breath taking innins and punters simply stated that he plays as a aggressive opener as sehwag and now all those sehwag fans are exaggerating by thinking punters stated that hughes is better than sehway he just used him as an example no need to be angry sehway fans and indian cricket fans but i have the utmost respect for the austrailian cricket team they have been through alot over the few years well done phillip hughes

Posted by Dileep.Iyer on (March 23, 2010, 21:39 GMT)

"Someone like Virender Sehwag is a fairly similar Test match opener to what Hughesy is."

Very true... Now all Ponting lovers agree to me when I say "Someone like Shane Warne is fairly similar to what Amit Mishra is." Well, both are leg spinners aren't they? And both bowl for getting wickets...! That sort of similarity is enough to compare both, by the same philiosophy Ponting used.

Well, I am not saying Ponting is arrogant. Because that will be like repeating a fact over and over again....! Had he uttered "Hughsey is like Sehwag" instead of "Sehwag is like Hughsey" this article would have got less than 10 messages.... he he he

Posted by Stevo_ on (March 23, 2010, 20:28 GMT)

This is why I can't stand Indian cricket fans.

Hughes was the topic of discussion, and Ponting just named a player who he thought played in a similar way to him, that is all. He wasn't saying that Hughes was in the same class of Sehwag or anything like that.

Learn to read an article in the context is it written .

Posted by ILaughAtThee on (March 23, 2010, 20:11 GMT)

Once again the Aussie readers are stoking Indian readers by calling them 'passionate Indian sehwag fans' blah blah. Once again this thread has gone to the dogs like many others before. Once again cricinfo is smiling at the hitcount on the site. Once again we fail to realize that media can 'influence' popular remarks like how they have just done with this piece. From a pure cricketing perspective, how can anyone even defend such ridiculous statements? It is not a case of passion or paranoia, but reaction to absolute stupidity in coming up with such statements. They asked for it, they wanted it, they are getting it, they must be happy. There is no sanity in this post and my Aussie frnds need not extend it further by resorting to mindless counter arguments. Grab a beer and chill!

Posted by Nitesh.Chandra on (March 23, 2010, 19:40 GMT)

Well, the ozzies have a track record for hyperbole.. the most recent example being an IPL blitz century by Yusuf Pathan being hailed as the 'best ever' by Shaney.. Philip Hughes is an exciting player no doubt but miles to go before being burdened with such comparisons.. Huge boots to fill if one aspires to go the Sehwag way..

Posted by raghu1122000 on (March 23, 2010, 19:20 GMT)

Imran khan once said after a WC semi final.. Inzamam is miles ahead of Sachin Tendulkar and will go on to break every record... hmm ... I see some similarity here...

Posted by knowledge_eater on (March 23, 2010, 19:16 GMT)

I knew it, it was going to go in haywire. Its MASSIVE and HUGE shoe to fill in, and Sehwag wants to play at least 16 more test, before thinking of retiring. However, it would be interesting to see how Hughes take it from here, captain have already put him in hot-spot now. Let's see if he can cope with this pressure. If he even does half of what sehwag has achieved Aussy will happy. Personally, I do want him to success. Because recently I want big hot slap on someone's face, who is accusing that current cricketers suck. Ofcourse, you can't slap someone physically, but his achievement would be slap to someone Aussy himself. It is absolutely rubbish, if someone says my era cricketers are not good. Now I understand why Gavaskar wanted Sachin to score 250 in ODI and 450 in test, because people are not going to come out of there OLD world they created inside their brain, yes they were great but what now ? Wouldn't you want your child to perform better than your Granpa ? At least I would.

Posted by Poks on (March 23, 2010, 18:44 GMT)

Indeed it would be interesting to see how australia plays after Ponting's retirement. Lets wait and see for that too.

Posted by manishisin26 on (March 23, 2010, 17:52 GMT)

Ponting could have said that Hughes plays like Sehwag, but instead he choose to say Sehwag is like Hughes, this shows arrogance of aussies. Hughes isn't even close to Sehwag and has just played very few innings, in fact he till now hasn't been able to seal a permanent place in side.Sehwag has proved himself in all forms of cricket and everywhere in world.

Posted by sumit_jb007 on (March 23, 2010, 17:48 GMT)

@ BrisVegan : "Oh please. All you sensitive Sehwag fans can rest easy - clearly this piece mentions Sehwag's name only as an example of a fast-scoring test batsman. Obviously Hughes is not in the same class as Sehwag (although give him several years and we'll see)."

It would be interesting to see what your reaction would be if Dhoni called Abhimanyu Mithun the "Indian McGrath" for his accuracy or Atul Sharma (who ACTUALLY bowls at well over 160 km/h) the "Indian Brett Lee"...

And one more thing... Sehwag is head and shoulders above every opener that exists in world cricket today and to compare him to Hughes today is absurd... [2]

AND, well said, raghu!

Posted by samcricket96 on (March 23, 2010, 16:30 GMT)

The Australians have again shown their hunger to win !!!!!!.Phillip Hughes was outstanding .....He showed again that he is the best opener in Australia .....i wish he scores more runs in the coming years ...he has a lot to offer ......he is an brilliant fielder and more importantly an excellent OPENING BATSMAN...

Posted by bonner on (March 23, 2010, 16:16 GMT)

With you there CustomKid - Hussey hasn't really stepped up as a senior batter in the test team and there is still residue of how he went strangely missing during the Ashes when his team desperately needed him to perform. Let him be the new Michael Bevan in the one-day team but the selectors must be close to giving him the tap on the shoulder if his test form doesn't come good. The Aussie top 6 will be interesting in 12-18 months if the 3 you mentioned; Huss, Kato and Ponting bow out. Imagine having Watson and Hughes open - look out Gambhir and Sehwag!! (that will fire up the Indian fans ;) ).

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 13:50 GMT)

Drop Katich and have Watson and Hughes open ! Now that would be something.

Posted by menongitis on (March 23, 2010, 13:24 GMT)

"Someone like Virender Sehwag is a fairly similar Test match opener to what Hughesy is" ?

That sounds like 'Hughesy' is the legend and Sehwag is the young upstart

Compare that with.. ""Someone like Hughesy is a fairly similar Test match opener to what Virender Sehwag is"

Posted by Dayton on (March 23, 2010, 13:23 GMT)

Once again the passionate Indian team fans get outraged if their player name is mentioned. It would be really interesting to see how India plays after Sachin retires. Lets wait and see.................................

Posted by shahidmahmood on (March 23, 2010, 13:10 GMT)

I think that they mean that Hughes can whack the ball well. He is no comparison Sehwag yet. He might become over years. But he is an impressing stroke player, with good talents. He is way better than Watson but Australia don't understand that. Watson is good at 6 or 7 but in place of who?

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 23, 2010, 13:08 GMT)

Phil Hughes is not Virender Sehwag. Maybe in 5 years he might be. Maybe even in 2 years. But not right now. Phil Hughes is right now a fringe test player with a great FC record who was found out in the Ashes and needs to prove that he is regularly good enough against quality teams. It is very easy to score 80 in no time flat when the target is only 100. Try doing that when the target is 400 or when the team is under pressure. His performance today was a stat boost - nothing more. It is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Shane Watson has scored hard runs, has bowled well and is right now the best player in the Australian team and will be welcomed back with open arms. If Hughes wants a spot, he is better off targeting Marcus North or one of the fringe players.

Posted by paramthegreat on (March 23, 2010, 13:03 GMT)

Australia's Sehwag??Apparently sehwag has an average of 82+ in Tests and an avg of 50 odd . He also has a strike rate of 104 in Odis. He has 2 triple centuries .Who are you kidding pal? Philip hughes is just an amateur .I feel Tamim is better than him, atm . Scoring 86 while chasing 105 proves nothing .We found out how good he was during Ashes and against Pakistan at Scg . He is a potential superstar, no doubt , but comparing him to sehwag would be like comparing Ishant Sharma to Bond or JP duminy to ponting. The best Australian atm , in terms of dominating an innings is Dave Warner.

Posted by gzawilliam on (March 23, 2010, 12:33 GMT)

And Gupta.Ankur to say Sehwag is head and shoulders over any opener in world cricket is just silly.

I think Gambhir has a better average and conversion rate does he not?

Posted by gzawilliam on (March 23, 2010, 12:29 GMT)

I agree with Hussey needing to move aside(soon). But hughes is not the world class player he makes out to be. He has one of the best offside skills in the game from gully through to midoff. But thats it. He cannot seem to pull very well. he can't use his wrists to use the gaps on the legside either.

This is why bowlers of Flintoff's class made him look bad. They bowl a good shortish length coming into his body and with his footwork he has nowhere to go but prod the ball. Teams will all know this. Obviously NZ didn't think it was the best way to get him out. Or they had given up by then ... the later in my eyes.

He is a fantastic talent no doubt. But no more than Steve Smith who bats very well at 6 and bowls capable legspin. This is more exciting.

Hughes has so much serious work to do on his legside play before taking up a full time role. Otherwise he is just another liability against top bowlers. or should i say smart bowlers.

Harris now.. he was born to play test cricket.

Posted by ChetanS on (March 23, 2010, 12:26 GMT)

No worry, Mr. phillip, we, Pune IPL team will take you.

Posted by 68704 on (March 23, 2010, 11:49 GMT)

I think we are getting paranoid here. I think Ponting well knows Sehawag"s ability and capability to demolish attacks and win games. I am sure he is not dumb enough to compare the two. I think we Indians tend to get hyper and defensive about everything. It is a global game after all and people will tend to voice their opinion. The trouble is that even when someone is trying to give one of our players a compliment we are jumping up and down. Hughes is good and I think with time he could get to be a Michael Slater if not a Sehawag and one of his good qualities is that he takes on spinners fearlessly . Sure he needs to work on the short ball and perhaps be a little more selective but he can give the team a great start. I agree with one of the comments that Australia should blood Hughes. I am still not sure North is a long term bet, let us wait and see. But Australian cricket is in better shape than it was twelve or eighteen months ago . Sridhar

Posted by zn264 on (March 23, 2010, 11:30 GMT)

Boy must be tough being an aussie with all these great cricketers to choose from. One of our bowlers breaks his hand and we are worried, he didn't even get a wicket in the first test! He did of course score a few runs, but doesn't it sum up how much trouble NZ test cricket is in! Really enjoyed the test, just wish NZ players showed up.

Posted by vivek_tyagi on (March 23, 2010, 11:20 GMT)

It is great to see young exciting players performing good at Test level, we need this so much more to make test cricket more exciting..........also the point here is that a youngster has a game which is similar to Sehwag....it nowhere claims that Hughes is as good as Sehwag....these are the type of words captains use to motivate their young upcoming players, just wait for one bowler of genuine pace to come from India and many people will start calling him Brett Lee of India.

Posted by premshankarr on (March 23, 2010, 11:07 GMT)

If it was "india's" sehwag the target should have been 106 in 12 overs :D TRUE STORY !

Posted by premshankarr on (March 23, 2010, 10:43 GMT)

If it was "india's" sehwag the target should have been 106 in 12 overs :D TRUE STORY !

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 10:14 GMT)

Posted by Macca1970 on (March 23 2010, 04:40 AM GMT) I think International test cricket is dying. There are only 3 decent international teams, India, South Africa and Australia. The rest a substandard. In the future franchise cricket is going to take over, ie NSW versus the Dehli Daredevils.

3 decent teams! dont england hold the ashes.......if we beat a decent team as we did then we become a good team. so your partly right. 3 decent teams and 1 good one.

Posted by chithsabesh on (March 23, 2010, 9:56 GMT)

pathetic saying hughes as australias sehwag no one in the world can be compared to sehwag .

Posted by seawolf911 on (March 23, 2010, 9:56 GMT)

have seen few comments about shewang's class, shewang himself does not know what other are talking about and of which class, well huhes is growing young cricketer and hopefully he will prove himself about his class in future. as australian team never been depended on ONE SHEWANG or any indevidual. when ponting was introduced in international cricket none of the indian fans considered him as best, all prised tendulkar but today if you look now he is better than any one in both form of cricket and as a captian. his record proves it. as a unit australia is still better than any other team in both forms.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 9:40 GMT)

Spin doctors of Cricinfo at work.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 9:25 GMT)

Do you really think they will drop Mr cricket why even say that ! take a look at the record books, has a Kiwi ever produced what the great Micheal Hussey has done ? NO ! i didnt think so ! Australia have two maybe three or four different teams that will beat New Zealand in a 5 day game ! its because they start with the basics and in NZ they only win 20 and 50 over games and growing up there they watch theyre heroes playing those games not tests ! which are the true test of a cricketers mettle !

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (March 23, 2010, 9:11 GMT)

i think moase's suggestion is spot on............remove hussey or north and play watson at no-6.

Hughes is dropped far too conveniently for my liking.........its either husey or north who must make way for watson.

Posted by raysa on (March 23, 2010, 9:02 GMT)

It sounds a bit silly but North should be dropped despite his century and the fact he has almost 5 of them. We are playing New Zealand after all. For the first time since Ponting started we have a group of young players capable of 15 year careers. North never looks comfortable and has made a huge number of failures coming in at the easy position at number 6 whilst Haddin who comes in next looks totally at home. Haddin gets on with it and occasionally throws his wicket away in the search of quick runs which North would never do. He was picked for his bowling ability which is pretty ordinary and now redundant with Watson in the team and Hauritz bowling well. We r playing NZ cant lose the Chappell Hadlee and what an opportunity to blood Hughes or Smith at 6. Whilst Hussey looked vulnerable he shouldn't be dropped on one failure after a successful summer and a great career.

Posted by onlinegamer55 on (March 23, 2010, 8:26 GMT)

Hughes is a class batsmen, there is no doubt about that. How many batsmen in this era (or in any era for that matter), have averaged over 60 in first class matches? Hughes' first class batting average for NSW *only* is 63, and that's definitely very impressive. In the past 20 years, only Tendulkar and Ponting have averaged on that scale, and perhaps we might mention Ajay Sharma who averaged 67 but never could develop his career. Neither Dravid, Laxman, Clarke, Lara, Kallis, Smith etc. average 60 at the first class level. In fact, in the case of Michael Clarke, he averaged 37 for NSW before getting a test call-up; that's an average *25 runs* less than Hughes' when he got a test call-up. And now people call Clarke a world class batsmen (which he is). If we give Hughes sufficient chance to develop on the international stage, he may well hit a test average of 60, possibly even 70, and become a modern great. Clarke increased his average by 13 so why not Hughes?

Posted by onlinegamer55 on (March 23, 2010, 8:20 GMT)

Oracle22, regarding Hughes' ability to bat in "pressure situations", I don't really know what you mean. The way I see it, a "pressure situation" for an opener is when there is a huge target to chase down, but in that case you are talking "fourth innings", and he averages 103 when he bats (admittedly, he has only batted in two fourth innings, and one of those was a 17 when Australia were chasing down 522 in The Ashes; but you can't generalize that he can't bat in pressure situations based on one innings). Another interpretation of "pressure situation" is batting when your team has lost a lot of wickets, but that sort of situation rarely presents itself to an opener; more likely a middle order bat needs to deal with that. Finally, I would call Hughes' back-to-back 115 and 160 against South Africa a "pressure situation". In the first innings of that match, only Katich was the other centurion, and in the second innings, only one other batsmen passed 50 (Hughes was the only centurion).

Posted by popcorn on (March 23, 2010, 8:18 GMT)

Hughes can wait till Katich retires, maybe go the Centre for Excellence at Brisbane to perfect his technique against the short ball under the tutelage of Greg Chappell who has done wonders fore Shane Watson.Apart from Phil Jacques and Chris Rogers, both excellent openers,only Hughes shows mettle, and like Mike Hussey waited for his place,Hughesy should wait too!

Posted by Ribs on (March 23, 2010, 8:09 GMT)

Don't compare Hughes with Viru, Viru exceptional modern day great. His hand and eye coordination gift for him. He changed the way of playing test matches. After T20 burst out test cricket will survive only after 10 or 15 players needs to play like viru. In this way I like Hughes way of batting.

Posted by onlinegamer55 on (March 23, 2010, 8:07 GMT)

Phillip Hughes is no doubt a talented player, but I just don't see him as the sort of player who is going to whack a triple century in his career. Many great batsmen don't have a triple century to their name, and that includes Ponting, Dravid, Tendulkar, Kallis (who does not even have an international double century to his name) etc. I think the point is that when Hughes is in good form, he can bat confidently and aggresively. When the word "blaster" comes up in the context of cricket, Ponting certainly isn't the first name to pop up, but that isn't to say he can't bat agressively; we know that should the circumstances permit, he can and will blast runs. I think in that sense, Hughes is similar to Ponting; he can bat both aggressively and defensively. Obviously his List A strike rate of 70 does no justice to his ability to blast runs, but whether he is Sehwag or Ponting, I see him as a future opener of Australia.

Posted by Visnk on (March 23, 2010, 8:06 GMT)

Hey Ricky, leave alone drawing parallels of Hughes with Sehwag you have the audacity to compare Sehwag to Hughes! This wuld please Hughes immensely & it wuld be ur tactic to pacify him for his missing out on the next Test! Dont think you can camoflouge the ulterior motive by issuing such wayward statements - We might not have played international cricket like you but certainly know who is a proven talent & who is trying to find his feet

Posted by six-hitter on (March 23, 2010, 7:58 GMT)

Ponting wasn't comparing Hughes to Sehwag except to say that they are both attacking openers. Don't be so sensitive.

Posted by Ianbaggygreen on (March 23, 2010, 7:58 GMT)

Oh yeah, don't be so sensitive guys, Punter is simply saying that that X factor Sehwag brings to the side, there is slight resemblance in Phillip's game. That attacking aspect where the shots aren't always splendid, but the power and natural instinct they have is special. Of course Sehwag is far more seasoned to this role.

Posted by Ianbaggygreen on (March 23, 2010, 7:55 GMT)

Firstly on the Hughes saga. Simon Katich probably only has a few more seasons left in him before I reckon he decides to move aside to give a younger player an opportunity. Keeping this in mind I do reckon keeping Phillip as a regular in NSW Sheffield games is good, while still keeping him exposed to the Test side's movements is wise. I can see Watto becoming a more seasoned cricketer in the middle order due to his consistency and rapid development as a mature cricketer, but if we need him at the top of the order, well, he needs to be there. In ODI's it is certainly his spot, but like a guy like Tendulkar does, Watto could do the opening in ODI's and bat in the middle order in Tests. Any Indian guys reading this, calm down, I am not comparing them just comparing the tactical aspect of this.

Posted by BrisVegan on (March 23, 2010, 7:32 GMT)

Oh please. All you sensitive Sehwag fans can rest easy - clearly this piece mentions Sehwag's name only as an example of a fast-scoring test batsman. Obviously Hughes is not in the same class as Sehwag (although give him several years and we'll see).

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 7:26 GMT)

Interesting... From the days of calling someone Bradman of Indian cricket, we now have Sehwag of Aussie cricket... Funny game, cricket is..:-)

Posted by Pathiyal on (March 23, 2010, 7:11 GMT)

I dont think Ponting is exactly comparing Hughes with Sehwag. He is not that stupid. He is just giving resemblance to Hughes ability to turn matches in their favour. And if by matching a younger player with the likes of Viru could give an elephant size confidence, its a plus

Posted by skip74 on (March 23, 2010, 6:52 GMT)

All those saying he's no Sehwag, ofcourse he's not! No-one said he is. If you all read the article properly Punter says he's the same "type" of player. An attacking opener. And attacking openers will have their ups and downs, they might get out cheaply a few innings in a row to shots that make you scratch your head, but can make big scores in a short time that can set-up a Test match. And for every run-a-ball double century Sehwag makes he'll get out cheaply a dozen times to an outrageous shot. That's all Punter was saying.

Posted by Deepesh27 on (March 23, 2010, 6:41 GMT)

Hughes Tests Played- 7 RUNS- 615 H/S-160 Avg- 51.25

Sehwag Played-76 Runs-6691 H/S-319 Avg- 53.52

Article writer should reconsider writing or comparing some one with Sehwag he can make 85 not in 75 balls 85 in 47 balls or less He is a devastating player INDIA has..

Sehwag is the most dangerous opener in word cricket ..

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 6:32 GMT)

Sehwag is a legend of the game with 2x300s and 1x290. He is a guy makes a real impact when he's batting. Philip Hughes is a severely overrated batsman. Comparing him to a Sehwag is a disgrace to Sehwag and test cricket! After his South African debut series, all he's had is a string of failures. Making runs against New Zealand isn't something to be cocky about!

Shane Watson deserves to be back in the test team, if Hughes is Sehwag, Watson is Bradman!

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 6:28 GMT)

Oh please! Stop comparing every TD&H with Sehwag and the clan, just look at the facts, Hughes has just played 7 tests with a strike rate of 60, whereas Sehwag has played 76 ( do your math) tests with a strike rate of 80 and above.

Evern if you were to look at the First class career for both Hughes will not be visible in the far far away lands... just to point Sehwag has played in 139 matches and Hughes is still on number 40.

Hardly any possibility of comparison.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 5:51 GMT)

It was a gr8 display by Australia once again. Bollinger and Harris bowled exceptionally well and I get the feeling that mitch has become a playmaker from spearhead. Thats a gr8 comeback ensuing his Lord's performance. He's on the right track and kudos to hauritz as well. I don't understand the speculation about north's place. He scored 3 100s during the ashes at crucial times. Clarke proved his worth and so did hughes. gr8 captaincy from ricky once again. Atleast now he'll get his recognition now that glenn and warne are retired and the attack is brand new. Even better compared to having siddle and mckay. Johnson, Bollinger, Harris, Hilfenhaus, Hauritz...that should be the new winning combo....Aussie rules!!!!.... cheers!!

Posted by ThreeAwesomeMenfromIndia on (March 23, 2010, 5:44 GMT)

Ha ha..funny..I dont know what is this comparison is Stupidity of Ponting......

Does he agree to compare himself with Ashish Nehra...?.. Shewag is the one of the legends played the game of cricket......Hughes is a kid who does not know how to swim in international :)...rofl....

shewag is better than bradman....he has awesome record only ponting can dream that record

Ponting mind your words..otherwise u will be critisized everyone....

Posted by CustomKid on (March 23, 2010, 5:28 GMT)

I'm sorry but it's time Mike Hussey to move aside. He's been a great player but I'm not sure what he provides thise side anymore. He's meant to be the rock in that position but looks anything but that. In his early days he rarely got caught behind but it's happening all to often now which highlights a deficiency somewhere in his game. He got a second innings hundred in the Ashes to save his spot then made a match winning 100 against Pakistan, a innings which should have been terminated 3 times before getting to 65. Had iron gloves Akmal held on to one of those simple chances I'd say he'd be out of the side because Australia would have lost the match and needed a scapegoat. We need new blood and now - Katich, Hussey, and Pointing are all getting on and we don't want them all leaving at once. You're not going to drop the number 1 opener or the skipper so that leaves only one being Hussey. Succession planning should be happening now, not when it's all too late. Let Hughs develop his game!

Posted by Percy_Fender on (March 23, 2010, 5:16 GMT)

Ricky Ponting must be reminded that Sehwag has played 76 Test Matches against all countries, and has scored nearly 7000 runs. He is not some fledgling to be compared with a bumbling over rated beginner like Phil Hughes who for all the Australian expectations will never make it big. He will have to concentrate on 20/20 like David Warner is doing at present. Sehwag is a courageous all whether player who despite his relative seeming discomfort in having to play the hook shot is an outstanding on side player of front or back foot." Hughesy" will have to go some way if he has to step into the shoes of a living legend whose comparisons have been with none other than Garfield Sobers and Don Bradman. If he can indeed rise upto Sehwag's stature and come anywhere near his consistency then Australia will have been served well. To me he will never be able to overcome his inadequacy against genuine pace and the short stuff no matter what the Aussies think.

Posted by JonnyBoy777 on (March 23, 2010, 4:52 GMT)

Im a kiwi and i would much rather see phil hughes opening than shane watson

Posted by Macca1970 on (March 23, 2010, 4:40 GMT)

I think International test cricket is dying. There are only 3 decent international teams, India, South Africa and Australia. The rest a substandard. In the future franchise cricket is going to take over, ie NSW versus the Dehli Daredevils.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (March 23, 2010, 4:24 GMT)

What Hughes as Sehwag? Are you kidding me? Sehwag is head and shoulders above every opener that exists in world cricket today and to compare him to Hughes today is absurd.

Posted by moase on (March 23, 2010, 3:55 GMT)

I'm sorry..... as well as the aussie team is made up with watson opening, i think it's ridiculous. Hughes should be playing. Without a doubt. His talent cannot be denied, and they need to cultivate that and deal with him being a young player and having his teething difficulties. North is a great player, but a great shield player nonetheless; of course he will get the occasional century, but the australian team with hughes opening and watson at 6, where he can have a greater focus on being a backup bowler, is a much better fit in my opinion.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 3:27 GMT)

The only option is to drop Hussey, but in doing that you lose an amazing gulley fieldsman. Shame for Hughes, he would probably put more pressure on Hussey for a spot in the batting order if he could make the use of the starts he gets like he did this morning. I'd have for the next test: Watson, Katich, Ponting (c), Clarke, Hughes, North, Haddin, Johnson, Hauritz, Harris, Bollinger.

Posted by Sid6233 on (March 23, 2010, 3:27 GMT)

It is simply outrageous to compare philip Hughes with Sehwag just after one 75 ball 86 Philip hughes doesnt belong in the league of sehwag

Posted by oracle22 on (March 23, 2010, 3:17 GMT)

Well done Punter and the rest of the team. Great 1st innings declaration. Every other team would have batted on, and got 600+ and the game would have finished in a frustrating draw. Excellent captaincy to produce a result.Hughes needs to bide his time. The acid test is whether he can do it under pressure in the first innings of a match.

Posted by Sivnive on (March 23, 2010, 3:05 GMT)

What Sehwag???????? Oh pity. Pls dont ever compare any one with sehwag

Posted by manasvi_lingam on (March 23, 2010, 3:01 GMT)

Why is everyone getting compared to Sehwag so early in their careers? After all Sehwag boasts of 6 scores of over 200, including 4 over 250. That includes 2 300's and a 290. A long way to go before someone can be compared with his achievements.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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