Australia in South Africa 2013-14

Hughes replaces injured Marsh

Brydon Coverdale

January 30, 2014

Comments: 103 | Text size: A | A

Phillip Hughes square drives during his half-century, Victoria v South Australia, Sheffield Shield, Melbourne, 1st day, November 29, 2013
Phillip Hughes had been in good form in the Sheffield Shield © Getty Images
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Phillip Hughes has been given another chance in Australia's Test squad after Shaun Marsh failed to convince the selectors he would recover from his calf injury in time for the warm-up game in South Africa.

The inclusion of Marsh was the most controversial selection in Australia's original 15-man squad for the three-Test tour, given his lack of first-class runs this summer and his poor red-ball record since he was dropped from the Test team two years ago. Hughes appeared especially unfortunate not to be granted a place on the trip after scoring three Sheffield Shield hundreds in five games this season.

However, Marsh picked up a calf injury during the final ODI against England in Adelaide on Australia Day and he was held back from departing with the rest of the Test squad so his fitness could be assessed. The only tour match before the first Test will begin in Potchefstroom on Wednesday and the selectors were unwilling to take Marsh if his fitness could not be guaranteed for that game.

"As Shaun Marsh's calf injury has not improved as much as required over the past four days he has been withdrawn from the Test Squad for the tour of South Africa," the national selector John Inverarity said. "Phillip Hughes had been placed on standby and now comes into the Test squad as a replacement for Shaun. Phillip will head to South Africa as soon as possible."

Hughes now has the opportunity to press his claims for a Test recall with Alex Doolan his main rival for the place in the top six that has become available after the axing of George Bailey. However, it is unclear whether the vacant spot will be at No.3 or at No.6. Initially it seemed that Shane Watson might move down to No.6 but the captain Michael Clarke said before flying to South Africa he wanted Watson to remain at first drop.

Both Hughes and Doolan are considered top order players, although Hughes has been used at No.6 as well as Nos.3 and 4 in the Test team over the past year. He was dropped from the side following the heavy loss in the Ashes Test at Lord's in July, a match in which he managed only 1 in each innings, although in the previous Test at Trent Bridge he had scored a mature 81 not out that was overshadowed by Ashton Agar's near century.

Since being axed in July, Hughes has made 671 first-class runs at the average of 61.00 from 11 innings, including a double-century and two other hundreds this Sheffield Shield season. Marsh, by comparison, had managed only 675 first-class runs at 25.00 since his last Test in January 2012, and appeared to have been selected based largely on his form in the shorter formats.

South Africa has been a productive country for Hughes, who scored two centuries in his second Test in Durban on the 2009 tour and also made 88 at the Wanderers on Australia's most recent trip there in 2011. However, Hughes has never seemed far from the axe and his demotion after the Lord's Test was the third time in his 26-Test career he had been dropped following an extended run in the side.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by ScottStevo on (February 6, 2014, 19:32 GMT)

@hyclass, odd you mention G Chappell as I believe he once taught that test batsmen should only score through the V between cover and midwicket until 20 runs were made (don't quote me on that number!), so it would seem he's a lot more appreciative of a straight bat and scoring with a straight bat than you would give it credit. Whereas in reality, you can score anywhere from fine leg glance to a back footed square drive through backward point with a straight bat. Roughly 300 of 360 degrees! So, I would disagree that playing with a straight bat limits scoring opportunities, albeit you can't play anything very short with a straight bat. Techniques may be adapting due to the vast differences between the 3 formats, however, the needs of test cricket rarely require improvisation or anything risky to increase run rates.

Posted by hyclass on (February 4, 2014, 10:52 GMT)

This article is based on Hughes for Marsh. By any metric, Hughes is a better choice, so why is their so much emotion? Because many who may have backed Hughes, feel cheated by his continued failure and seek explanations. Insensibly, facts are twisted to fit theories, rather than the reverse, or facts are simply overlooked to denigrate Hughes. I agree, that if one was to look at Hughes playing Tests, after SA '09, the assumptions being espoused would not be implausible. They fail however to explain either his 1st class form, his success under pressure in Shield finals and his form vs the vaunted SA attack and its absolute superiority to the Ashes attack. They imply as fact, assumptions not borne out when researched and they fail to observe the wholesale change to his game on joining the '09 squad or investigate DeCosta's claims. So will he succeed? Perhaps.If he's encouraged to play with freedom, his own way.His Shield form is good, but not quite there. I wish him well.He's Australian.

Posted by hyclass on (February 4, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

With reference to watching the ball @ScottStevo, I recall a spell of failures by Greg Chappell, broken by a double century. When asked what had changed, he explained that he had not been watching the ball from the hand. It is a loss of focus, intensity and purpose, at the critical moment. A batsman taught that technique is paramount, loses focus on scoring intent-the one factor that will wrest advantage back from the bowler, as Hughes did in SA. A willingness to attack, atones for a multitude of sins. In Eng, DeCosta tells us, Hughes was' forced to prepare in a manner that wasn't suited to he or his game on joining the squad'. From that point, his game changes-becomes front on, loses hand, bat and foot speed and trigger movements and he becomes a walking wicket for all types of deliveries.He lacks either adjustment or scoring options and looks like a tail ender. It is assumed that his 1st class success is a sign of lack of quality, rather than his reverting when not in the Test squad.

Posted by hyclass on (February 4, 2014, 10:09 GMT)

@ScottStevo...with due respect, there is far too much specious reasoning in your approach and far too many exceptions, to dismiss the alternatives. If the modern game demonstrates anything, it is that playing straight reduces scoring opportunities, a common method for creating dismissals by bowlers. In an era of three formats, that presents little value. Bradman based his entire game around seeking legside scoring and then filtered options from there. Hughes applies the same method through the offside. I reiterate-An attacking plan, a defensive plan and the courage, stamina and physical ability to execute it. Technique is the least salient. Many kids emulate the style of their heroes, eschewing all coaching. Regardless of how often footage is reviewed, the bowlers still need to execute-something that they often fail at. There is an assumption that plan equals result. I've seen no evidence of improved intelligence or execution, despite a plethora of coaching and associated technology.

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 2, 2014, 12:09 GMT)

@Barsney4444, here's an example for you. Let's say I go to the US and recruit their greatest ever batter to play in my cricket team. What do we know about him - he's got a great eye because he hits a ton, he obviously watches the ball closely as he sees them to hit them, he obviously has great balance and great concentration. Problem is, he's never heard of, or ever seen a game of cricket. I strap some pads on him and tell him to go out there and hit them. How do you think he'll fare????? My guess would be disastrously. Yet, somehow, he has every single one of the traits you deem as the most important aspects of batting. So, why is he doing so poorly????

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 2, 2014, 11:56 GMT)

@Barnsey4444, give it up, man, you're starting to look completely ignorant...

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (February 2, 2014, 11:42 GMT)

Scootstevo, So you're saying technique is more important than concentrating every ball? And you're having trouble following my point!!

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 2, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

@Barnsey4444, not sure where you're going here, mate. Now you've changed from it's good to watch the ball whilst batting, to a young guy of 20 losing concentration in the field in front of a huge crowd the likes of which he's never encountered! I hate to tell you this, again, but watching the ball whilst batting IS a given - and I'd be very surprised if batsman weren't!! Concentration and focus are important, and it's when you have lapses in these that you want your technique, learned and drilled into you from an early age, to be there on auto pilot, once again highlighting my point, that it is the single most important aspect of batting...

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (February 2, 2014, 10:49 GMT)

Scottstevo, earlier on you said "watching the ball is a bit of a given in ball sports". IT IS NOT! Just the other night 20 year old Muirhead admitted Boof had to keep reminding him to not let his mind wander on the field during an international game! Of course basic technique needs to be taught, THAT is a given. But cricket is 90% mental and training the young mind to learn how to concentrate and focus is the most important thing.

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 2, 2014, 9:49 GMT)

@Barnsey4444, Here's the article http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/562641.html

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 2, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

@Barsney4444, you're argument assumes that Hughes plays everything technically incorrect - which he doesn't. Of course, there are numerous factors to batting, concentration, stamina, luck, etc.. A batsman needs to be on top of his game in all these facets. However, the backbone of which is generally sound technique. You're also confusing your point. We were discussing how to teach children how to bat, to which I argue that teaching them technique is exactly where to start, whereas, training a professional, who should already be well aware of technique (and their own technique) and the fundamentals of the game are going to be better served remembering those basics of balls sports, watching the ball, concentrate, stay balanced. One article...well, in another article Rogers discusses how Aus young bats were technically poor and McDonald was exposing them due to their flaws. I'd say he places a lot of weight on technique, wouldn't you?

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (February 2, 2014, 0:39 GMT)

Scottstevo, Interview today by Chris Rogers: "It's all about adapting once you get out there, playing the conditions and playing the bowler". He didn't mention technique at all.

If he'd said something like "batting against Steyn, Philander and Morkel is all about having a good technique" then I would be inclined to agree that technique IS the most important thing, but Rogers didn't, I'm sorry.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (February 2, 2014, 0:26 GMT)

Scottstevo, you didn't answer why if technique is THE most important thing, why Hughes has scored 3 times as many centuries as Marsh yet has been playing FC cricket for half as long?

The reason: Hughes is mentally tough, he can concentrate hard and still work out ways of scoring when bowlers are getting on top of him. Marsh has a perfect technique, yet has only scored 8 FC centuries in 11 seasons. He is soft. I'd rather a tough nut over a soft perfectionist any day.

The textbook technique comes a distant fourth to the other three important things. If players are swinging across the line like baseballers they will not make it far, will they? Concentration and mental toughness is what will make them go places. That's what needs to be taught, to bat for long periods and make big scores.

A direct quote from G. Pollock "I like to keep it simple, you can get a bit carried away with technical aspects of batting, as long as you keep your head still and are balanced you are well on the way".

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 1, 2014, 20:30 GMT)

@Barnsey4444, forgot to mention, I'd also get a very lucrative contract in the IPL!

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 1, 2014, 19:57 GMT)

@Barnsey4444, that's great! I could stroll out to bat, concentrate and watch the ball, keep my head still and stay perfectly balanced and be swinging away at balls like baseballer. I'd have kept all 3 of your most important aspects of batting down pat, and I ensure you, I'd not only look ridiculous, I'd score nothing too...unless, of course, there was an agreement where they'd only bowl full tosses at me!

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 1, 2014, 19:53 GMT)

@hyclass, (cont'd) Also, a straight bat in tandem with proper foot movement will be safer in percentages than playing away from your legs, or even with just an angled bat. You argue that technique opposes adaptability, yet I'd argue that a sound technique forms the solid backbone for a player to be able to adapt to whatever conditions are encountered...The argument that players with poor technique in the past have prospered doesn't cut it in the modern game where analysis of holes, flaw, weaknesses are there for all to see in super slow motion. Whilst I agree that Hughes being found out in Eng is ridiculous, I do agree that batsmen can be found out, or chinks can be found in an armour. Look at what Aus have just done to Trott. At this level, having a good eye isn't good enough. Nor is having a sound technique. There's a middle ground between slogging and class. However, having a sound technique to fall back on when desperate, or when conditions are foreign is undoubtedly best...

Posted by ScottStevo on (February 1, 2014, 19:42 GMT)

@hyclass, I disagree, what would work for Tom Moody would work for a shorter player, they would just have to play differing strokes to a ball that pitches on the same length, however, their technique would remain the same. Moot point. Wristy players are also a poor example as generally their technique is the same until the point of contact. I agree, to some extent that you would coach a child and a professional differently, however, even for the pro's, going back to basics isn't a bad place to start. Moving on from which, feet are more important than just the transformation of energy (assuming by this you're referring to transferring of weight, ie, back foot, front foot). You can have a perfectly still head and perfect balance and misread the line. If your feet are 8 inches from where you bring the bat down, it doesn't even matter if you play with a dead straight bat, more often than not, you're getting done through the gate.

Posted by hyclass on (February 1, 2014, 13:20 GMT)

@BillyBunter2-the last time Hughes was encouraged to play his own game, was against a statistically far better SA attack than the current one, when he first arrived in Test cricket. Highlights of his 115 and 160 against them are on youtube and it's the bowlers who look like deers stuck in headlights. It should be evident that from the '09 Ashes onwards, most of the team was in decline under a coaching and selection regime that mitigated against any individuality or selection on form. Myths regularly propagated at the selection table and in the media included, the age myth, the technique myth, the found out myth, the cyclical myth, the curator myth & the traditional cricket unpopularity myth. These were further clouded by undermining the use of the Futures League, diluting all institutions, attacking State selections, the 'Form in all three formats' policy, attacking Shield and youth selecting, rather than form. Selection criterion remains as clouded as ever-all for CA to promote BBL.

Posted by BillyBunter2 on (February 1, 2014, 11:43 GMT)

Noooo!! Don't like to comment against my Aussie cricketers but Hughes is hopeless. Every time he is chosen due to someone else's downfall, he says "oh yeah I feel I'm playing my best cricket at the moment"! Then he gets out there and fails as always. He doesn't have the mental ability for international level. He always looks scared. Steyn, Parnell and Morkel are going to terrorise this kid all day. No matter how far into the innings he never looks comfortable or in-control. This is a bad bad decision. I would have much rather have stuck with Bailey then this pretender. Please Phil, do us a favour and just stick to Shield cricket.

Posted by   on (February 1, 2014, 9:37 GMT)

Clearly should've been picked in the first place. The most obvious choice & absolutely bewildering the Aussie selectors chose the underperforming, much older Marsh ahead of him. Many people knock Hughes for reasons beyond me. My bet is he'll score 8000+ Test runs at a healthy average by the end of his career.

Posted by Haiphong on (February 1, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

He will fail - YET again!

Posted by hyclass on (February 1, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

Well said Shaggy076. Most of the reasoning, opposing Hughes, is the idea that Shield is weak, the SA twin hundreds were flukes, his County hundreds were against weak opposition, his Shield Final hundreds arent the same kind of pressure etc, etc, etc. Extraordinary foundations on which to base any premise. 'Found out', was a headline, that was supposed to apply to short pitched bowling, yet he wasn't out once in a Test to that method, during the designated period. It was quickly shifted by those ill wishers to the moving ball, yet he had no challenge with the moving ball leading into the Ashes '09, to the degree that he had made 1637 runs with 8 x 100's at 96 in 10 games in the preceding 10 matches on 3 continents. This included almost 600runs for Middlesex in 3 matches. All the changed, occurred after joining the Ashes squad. DeCosta-his mentor,stated that 'he'd been forced to prepare in a way that wasn't suited to him.' He was clearly playing differently by the Ashes as proof of this.

Posted by hyclass on (February 1, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

If the Hughes exercise demonstrates nothing else, it is the power of a headline over substance, to influence the vast masses. The 'found out' myth, along with the 'age myth' and the 'technique myth', along with the 'cyclical myth', were conceived by CA at a time when they were moving to push 20/20 into the mainstream in Australia.Had Test cricket been at a pinnacle, that would have proved challenging. CA dedicated considerable thought and effort over a 5 year period, to undermining Test cricket, so that 20/20 would become the dominant format. Hayden's, 'non investment' in traditional cricket, while a CA board member, Geoff Clark's,'people over-reacting' after the record Ashes thrashing in Australia, last time around. Pushing BBL through, a year ahead of schedule, without adequate consultation and against the wishes of the States, to beat the Argus Review findings. The reversal of the use of the 2nd XI and all institutions. Attacking curators and public support.Selection policies et al.

Posted by hyclass on (February 1, 2014, 7:53 GMT)

Feet exist for the sole purpose of creating a platform for the transfer of energy into any given shot. When and where that occurs is dependent upon the player-not a book. It matters only that the head is still and the elements executed with their own point of balance at the moment of striking the ball. At all other times, the movements may be whatever a player wishes. Players with slow hands will do this very differently from those with fast hands. Viv Richards almost never played straight and neither did Doug Walters. Many of the wristy Indian players have games that would be incomprehensible to those growing up in Perth. Lara's high backlift would not suit Rogers. The history of Test cricket and much of life, is replete with those who were unconventional in their responding in the moment and successful as a result. I suggest that coaching of individuals at State level and beyond has little value and is better served as a team plan or man management role that encourages-not imagines.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (February 1, 2014, 5:13 GMT)

Scottsteveo, "first and foremost is technique"? Some of the best batsmen in history (Bradman and G. Pollock come to mind) state the 3 most important things are: 1) Concentrate and watch the ball. 2) Keep your head still. 3) Stay balanced. People criticised Bradman early on because he favoured leg side too much, he had a self taught method and it worked for him. If technique was the most important thing then Marsh must be scoring more runs than Hughes, right? You watch Hughes play those booming cover drives, his head is still and he is perfectly balanced.

Posted by hyclass on (February 1, 2014, 4:37 GMT)

@ScottStevo. While the observation of methods has value, wherever it occurs in life, the idea that one method is THE method, opposes all that one may learn about reasoning under pressure and adapting, for which this existence was created. Players are physical and emotional beings of different statures, who learned in different locations under different life conditions. What would work for Tom Moody at 6'8" is hardly relevant to a shorter player. What a slim player cant do, a stocky player can. What an emotional player like a Warner will choose, is hardly relevant to a Tendulkar. There is a deep lack of reasoning of cause and effect and a commensurate lack of grace in the continued persecution of those who are honouring their own gifts. That which one may teach a child, is not how one would approach a professional at the highest level. An attacking plan, a defensive plan and the physical ability and endurance to enact it, are all that is required- That is Test cricket's enduring charm.

Posted by hyclass on (February 1, 2014, 4:26 GMT)

Technique is the least important aspect of batting.Once the basics are known, it is for each player to reason their own methods. Batting is not static & is a response to conditions,opposition & physical, mental & emotional characteristics of each player. The worst technique I saw, was Paul Nobes, who opened the batting for Vic and Sth Aus, averaging 41.75. He was virtually front on. The Waugh and Chappell brothers, could not have been further removed in method, yet succeeded at the highest level. Ian Chappell's discussion with new players was,'You got here doing things your way-I don't want you to change a thing.' That's intelligence of the highest order. The idea that players need re-teaching once they reach the highest level, by those who read a book, but weren't good enough themselves, is counter-intuitive. Bradman was uncoached and worked out his own methods. It is this skill-working it out themselves, that has a high value in all areas of life. Technique only,opposes adaptability.

Posted by powerash5000 on (January 31, 2014, 15:06 GMT)

i expect Hughes will play in every position from 1-6, changing each innings of the tour, be dropped and re-instated as a wicket keeping leg spinner. Then we can all wonder why he shows inconsistency and insecurity. Please just put him in the top 3 and leave him there for 8 matches, he has earned the place with results so just give him a decent chance and stop the musical chairs

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

Great! He should have been in there in the first place!

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 31, 2014, 13:27 GMT)

If Hughes had not been picked the most common words in these posts would not be "everyone is a lion at home" it would be "Argus report".

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 12:54 GMT)

"Technique is the least important aspect of batting"? Come on! Good hand-eye co-ordination and fast reflexes play an important part in cricketing success (as they do in all sports) but it you don't move your feet, hit across the line or are off balance against spinning, swinging or seaming balls you will get OUT.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 31, 2014, 12:33 GMT)

You don't make 24 first class hundreds without having talent. Domestic level is not as easy as some make it sound. Hughes deserves his chance through runs and its only a matter of time before he breaks through.

Posted by ScottStevo on (January 31, 2014, 12:28 GMT)

@Barsney4444, I think not! You should teach youngsters technique first and foremost, ie, the fundamentals of the game commonly referred to as the basics! You can't teach hand eye coordination. Whilst 'watching the ball' is exceptionally important, it's a bit of a given in any ball sport...

Posted by whofriggincares on (January 31, 2014, 12:15 GMT)

Marsh should never have been picked in the first place. But I am still not sure if Hughes will ever get his average over 40 in test cricket, people keep saying things like "special talent" and things like that but we just haven't seen it often enough. His test average of 32 comes from 26 tests (49 innings) that is not a small sample it speaks volumes. Having said that his form of late and his brilliant tour of South Africa last time around mean he is next in line no doubt about that. I just hope he has learnt a bit more about his game and adjusted accordingly. To say that technique is the least important aspect of batting is being naïve in the extreme, we all know that there has been gifted players with unorthodox styles that have prospered in the past but when you are playing against the best in the world you get found out more often than not, as a 32 average seems to support in this case. Hope I am wrong but I doubt it somehow!

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 31, 2014, 11:49 GMT)

most people can hit the ball with no technique, but 3 strikes and your out.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (January 31, 2014, 11:42 GMT)

What's the most important thing to teach when showing juniors how to bat?

Watch the ball.

Watching the ball is far more important than technique and Hughes has a fantastic eye. I'll go for that over textbook style any day. All of those berating Hughes on here, you will eat your words, one day.

Posted by ScottStevo on (January 31, 2014, 10:32 GMT)

@hyclass, whilst I've thoroughly enjoyed and agreed with your posts relating to Hughes on other threads, I strongly disagree that technique is the least important aspect to batting. So vehemently I would state that technique is the single most important facet of any good batsman. A sound technique is the cornerstone of sound defense and sound stroke making. Whilst I agree that there are differing batsmen with obscure styles that work, their fundamental, underlying technique has been key to their success. Although T20 is somewhat redefining text book technique, these skills will possibly never be regarded in test match cricket.

Posted by hyclass on (January 31, 2014, 9:48 GMT)

Technique is the least important aspect of batting. All a batsman needs to succeed, is an attacking plan, a defensive plan and the physical courage and endurance to execute it. Very few Test batsman have either the same style or technique. One of the purposes of playing all around the world, is to demonstrate the variety of styles and their applications in varied conditions. Technique guarantees nothing and many who possess the better looking game, fail to have any impact. Coach Lehmann was one of the great 1st Class players. Yet I fail to recall another with the same game. The methods of bowlers are reasonably predictable. If one is to thrive against them, it helps to apply different methods. That is the charm of observing the different methods, that have given us Lara, Laxman, the Waugh's and tendulkar-all as different as could be. Hughes falls into this category. I hope that he has the courage to abjure the text book and trust his instincts from which excellence will surely flow.

Posted by ScottStevo on (January 31, 2014, 9:40 GMT)

@ShutTheGate, maybe because Doolan average less at state level than Watson does at test level at #3...Doolan should think himself very lucky if he gets to bat at 6 let alone in a pivotal position like #3.

@hmmmmm... Hughes will most likely succeed Rogers as our opener. Rogers has done well, which is why I chose him, but if Hughes MUST be played at the top, then he should open. We could slide Rogers to 3 and push the list all down one more and I'd be happy with that. In reality, Rogers is a stop gap measure and should bat wherever the team needs a batsman most. And as I always read on here, he has runs all over the shop and can't bat anywhere in the list, so if needs be, then we can bat him at 6, right? The other batsman I'd forgotten almost completely about is MoHen. A few good knocks in the warm up matches may find him a #6 spot...

Posted by hyclass on (January 31, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

The mindless berating of Hughes brings shame to those who do it, who continue to repeat headlines without a full understanding of the facts-only the popular version. He was never dismissed by the short ball in '09 Ashes. He wasn't by the SA either. I continue to read that Hughes '09 SA twin 100's were flukes, as though one can dismiss their quality on a whim. 115 and 160 in the same Test,against a then 1100+ wicket attack of Steyn, Ntini, Morkel, Kallis and Harris on their home ground, who had promised pre-tour to knock his head off. He is the youngest in 137 years of Test cricket according to Wisden. He is also a Bradman Medallist, a Steve Waugh Medallist, a Shield Player of the Year and has hundreds in Shield Finals. So unfazed was he by the SA success, that he peeled off almost 600 runs for Middlesex in 3 games, pre-Ashes, with a high of 195*. He had 1637 runs with 8 x 100's in 10 games at 96 on 3 x continents, leading into the Ashes. He now has 24 x 100's, including 3 this season.

Posted by hyclass on (January 31, 2014, 9:02 GMT)

I saw this picture earlier this season, & deemed it a reason to celebrate. It shows him late adjusting his offside shot for movement, something that he was doing when he first arrived in Test cricket as a prodigy. Hughes had said before this Shield season that he would be returning to his original game and the 3 x 100's in 5 games is a strong indication. I dont think he will be fully back to his best until next year, but I expect to see a far better return this time. I continue to read the mindless repetition of the 'found out' headline. DeCosta, his long time coach reported that on joining the Ashes squad in '09, he was forced to change his game by someone in the squad. That was pre- Lions. He was never out in the Tests to the short ball-the original 'found out' so it lacks any credence. All his failing, was being forced by someone in his own squad, to play text book, each time he joined the team. Hence his 1st Class success. Cause and effect reversed. Hauritz had a similar experience

Posted by Henry_Crun on (January 31, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

@spindizzy - "need to stop listening to the NSW based press"? It's funny how when posters on this page don't agree with a selection it's always the big bogeyman NSW that's at fault. Just to remind you, there are currently no NSW selectors on the NSP; two from WA, one from Qld, and Boof, who sometimes can't remember where he's from. You could argue that given the ridiculously petty parochial attitudes of the States two selectors from the same State should not have been permitted, but CA have never been known for letting logic get in the way of self-interest. As for the NSW based press, I'm pretty sure that newspapers and television have been invented in the other States, with the possible exception of WA.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 31, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

This is a definite issue for me, I agree with everyone ! he is the best batsman statistically in Australia with no technique, but he is scoring runs at shield level against some pretty good bowlers, how is it so. If the choice is Marsh or Hughes, I go Hughes.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (January 31, 2014, 8:13 GMT)

@spindizzy I don't necessarily disagree with you about Hughes, but I think keeping Bailey in the team would be the absolute worst decision possible, absolutely no doubt. His technique is worse than Hughes', he made test batting look horrendously difficult at all times when there was ANY semblance of pressure in an ashes where England were busy being annihilated, and even made it look difficult when there was absolutely no pressure. Other than that single over from Anderson at the WACA, I fail to see how anyone could imagine him having any value to the test team. Replace him with any of 20 different domestic batsmen I can think of and you've improved the test team. Maybe 50. Sure, he's great in ODI's but he's the definition of dead weight in the test team. Can't bat, can't bowl, can't throw.

Posted by Macker60 on (January 31, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

TheCrafter if they listen to people like you and other negative nanny's then Langer and Hayden would never have played as long as they did. Australian Batsmen on average normally cement the spot in a Test around the Age of 25, Yes the are a few Example of younger players but on the Hole our best batsman are over 25 when they hit there prime.

Posted by testcric4ever on (January 31, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

He even looks uncoordinated in the photo they've picked. You can get away with terrible technique at domestic level, but he's been more then found out at test level. And his record doesn't show he makes 100s more often then not. Two in his 2nd test, everyone had a look at him, worked him out, then just 1 century in 45 innings after that. Which means he's been dropped as many times as he's made centuries.

Posted by TheCrafter on (January 31, 2014, 3:47 GMT)

I can't believe they go back to Hughes again. How many chances at test level does he get ? He has clear technical deficiencies which may not be fully exposed at shield level but certainly are when it comes to test matches. Yes he scored runs against SA when we last toured but remember he was new to the test arena and the SA bowlers had not seen him before. They will be rubbing their hands together with glee at his selection on this tour.

Posted by YL89 on (January 31, 2014, 3:14 GMT)

Good that the right decision is made eventually, albeit because of injury. Hughes is not only leagues ahead of Marsh in terms of current first class form, but is quite clearly a far superior player overall with a first class average ten runs higher and three times as many first class (and test) hundreds despite being five years younger.

It will be interesting to see if there is a re-jigging of the batting order, with the two potential replacements for the outgoing number six being an opening batsman and a number three. Perhaps the new man will slot in at first drop and everyone else will move down one?

Posted by spindizzy on (January 31, 2014, 2:28 GMT)

It's a poor selection, his average tells nothing about his ability to fail under pressure. He makes batting look harder than it has to be and he's got no fight when he comes in after a couple of quick wickets.

He's a net negative to the team and keeping Bailey would have been far wiser, they really need to stop listening to the NSW based press.

Posted by thetrickster on (January 31, 2014, 2:27 GMT)

I thought Marsh had been replaced by Kylie Clarke! Why else was she on the team bus? I didn't see any other WAGS getting on / off the bus in S.A.

Captains privilege perhaps.

I think the young lady needs to find something to do with her time, following your husband around to every match looks a bit sad.

I vaguely remember my own playing days and most of us enjoyed a break from the trouble and strife. I wonder what the other players think?

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 2:06 GMT)

Hughes again! Duh! All SA need is a slip fielder like Guptilll to pouch his nicks when bowlers bowl across his body. One cannot make the same mistake again and again hoping for a different outcome.

Posted by hmmmmm... on (January 31, 2014, 1:23 GMT)

ScottStevo - I agree with your pick but why would you replace Rogers if Hughes needs to bat higher? He's been the rock in the last few tests and is a proper ball dulling opener?

If anyone is to be swapped out/shifted it should be lead-foot 'Hodor' Watson - the guy never learns!

Hughes will do well if they stick with him over time (just give him time). Once he is in he more often than not will make a hundred (as his record shows). SA also don't have a spinner, so even better for him...this is something he will need to work on if he is to be a regular fixture in the team (especially playing India or Pakistan away).

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 1:04 GMT)

I cannot understand why selectors have again chosen Phillip Hughes, a player who has been dropped three times from the Australian team after repeated proving he is only capable of scoring runs against non-threatening medium-paced bowling attacks on batsmen friendly pitches.

He has not overcome the technical deficiencies so apparent in his game but has instead relied on his new home of the benign Adelaide wicket to provide more of the same comfortable, easy runs which impress on paper but fail to deliver in meeting challenging conditions. I fear if Steyn, Morkel and Philander get the ball swinging or employ aggressive short-pitched bowling, then Hughes' flaws will once again resurface and highlight his unsuitability for Test cricket in non-ideal conditions.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 31, 2014, 0:50 GMT)

Did I blink and miss where Hughes changed his technique? Or are the selectors banking on South Africa not having good enough bowlers to be able to find his many, many flaws? Sri Lanka are the only country that have not exposed his technique at international level. Heck, what would I know? Maybe South Africa's bowling attack is as bad as Sri Lanka's.

Posted by shetto on (January 31, 2014, 0:41 GMT)

I think Hughes has the potential to be the difference between the two sides the way Johnson was the difference in the Ashes. Both came into the Australian side because of injuries to other players and both were in great form prior to being called up. A just reward for doing what he does best and that is making plenty of runs. His ability to score centuries is wasted at the sheffield shield level. Now the hard work begins and if he plays with same feeling an intent he did the last time he was in South Africa he will be successful again. He needs to bat further up the order and preferably open the batting, where his ability to score hundreds in first innings will be an asset to Australia - something Australia has not been able to do for a long time. Watson needs to move down the order where he can bat more freely and focus on scoring quickly instead of just trying to occupy the crease. In this mode Watson will be a more dangerous player and a great asset to Australia.

Posted by AidanFX on (January 31, 2014, 0:10 GMT)

It makes sense to put him in at three, since there is a degree of stability now in the opening role. Three is close enough to the opening position. Having said all that - Doolan would be first in line, at least from the 'selectors' point of view. But really the only thing that is saving Watson, who is potentially a brilliant batsmen, is the fact that he is a very very good additional bowler. The problem is we never now know how many overs he will bowl or if he will bowl at all. This I believe makes him something of a liability to the team. But given Australia are winning (on series at least) it would probably be unwise to drop Watson on the back of dropping Bailey.

Posted by Moppa on (January 31, 2014, 0:03 GMT)

@Mervo, is Lynn even playing Shield for Queensland at the moment? @Green_and_Gold, given the weak South African spinners, either Watson or Hughes could play at 6 in this series. Personally, I think Watson is too flaky for 3, so I would have Hughes at 3 and demote Watson to 6 (which his poor first innings performances in the Ashes deserve). @ScottStevo, I think Hughes deserves a 'pick and stick' approach, he is good enough (at least against pace) and his game is ready (it wasn't in 2010/11, or vs NZ for c Guptill b Martin). A bit like Smith, given a good run, he should succeed. My main concern about Hughes (apart from the scarring of past treatment) is against spin. It's hard to guarantee him an extended run when our next tests are against Saeed Ajmal and Pak in UAE, where, on past form, he will be a sitting duck. The Hughes dilemma continues! Maybe we need to be able to play horses for courses with batsmen without the stigma of being *dropped/sacked* (as we do with bowlers).

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (January 30, 2014, 23:49 GMT)

It would be better to retain George Bailey as he brings a lot of calmness to the team. Runs would come for him eventually. Hughes for all his skills, seems a player filled with panic and it transfers to the team.

Posted by MinusZero on (January 30, 2014, 23:26 GMT)

Why are the selectors obsessed with ODI and T20 form for test selections. Bailey's selection was a joke. Phil has scored runs where it counts, in first class cricket. There just needs to be more or it and less T20.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 23:16 GMT)

I'll go against the grain and say that Hughes should bat at 6. Ease him back into the team and give him the full series. SA have no decent offspinner to attack him with, hopefully he can come in against a tiring attack and just bat, much like he did at Trent Bridge. He loves going big, hope he makes it stick this time around.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 22:53 GMT)

This is as it should be. Hughes should have been selected ahead of Marsh in the first place. There was no justification for Marshes selection as he hand`t met any criteria for selection whereas Hughes has. But, Philby, you need to make it count this time.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (January 30, 2014, 22:33 GMT)

How can Clarke justify Watson continuing at number 3 when either Doolan or Hughes will be in the team?

Watto consistently gets out for little when the game is in the balance. Usually by being trapped LBW or trying to drive a ball outside off that he could easily leave or run down to third man. Play him in the middle order!

I suppose we'll play both Hughes and Doolan in the tour match to audition who makes the 11. If Hughes gets picked then I think we'll have to assume that this is his final chance. If he doesn't deliver now he never will, he's the form shield player and it's his fourth crack.

Posted by Aristotle01 on (January 30, 2014, 22:13 GMT)

@scarrule:SA's last opponents India gave SA one of their the toughest fights SA have had in test cricket for the last 5 years in their own country. The Indian batting was very very good and it was a good competitive series. Vijay, Pujara Kolhi and Rahane were all superbor very good. Do Aust have the same quality of batting? That will betheir greatets test. Warner-classic hometrack bully Rogers-Mediocre player might average 30 on this tour tops. Hughes-A joke. Can only play medium pace non-swing bowling. Clarke-Suspect agaisnt the moving ball likely to be roasted by Steyn and Philander, also fairly modest overseas record. Smith- a FC bat at best. Haddin-Fiesty but has had only one good test series so far-ashes 2013 AT HOME. Watson- at best a test no. 6. Cant manufacutre a test inns. There you have it. Please publish cricinfo.

Posted by Beertjie on (January 30, 2014, 21:39 GMT)

As many posted things have worked out better than expected. Before we get carried away, please recall Hughes' record during his previous reincarnation: 463 runs at 29 over 9 consecutive tests (3 in Aus. v SL). How does that compare with Bailey's 5 tests? In an ideal world he would not get another shot so soon after his last opportunities. I just hope he takes his chances, because his serial under-achievements suggest a Hick-like failure to make the transition between tests and other first-class matches. I guess Doolan may be ahead of him in the selection pecking order, but given his experience, he ought to leap-frog Doolan. I wish him well - just don't expect to be recalled too many times.

Posted by bren19 on (January 30, 2014, 21:37 GMT)

He is in, He is out. He bats at 1,3,4,5,6. What chance does the guy have? Maybe Hughes will get a spot at 10 or 11 as a bowler this time. Pick your team Inveratiy, give them time to make a batting position theirs and back them in it for a year.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 30, 2014, 21:20 GMT)

@Mitty2. Totally agree to use Hughes as opener. Rogers could easily slot @ #3 to stiffen up the top order & use our friend @ #6. Very amusing reading from "knowledegable" cricket fans stating Hughes hasn't got the talent for Tests. The youngest player ever to have scored a century in each innings of a test & against Steyn & Co doesn't have talent? Always good to start the day off with a laugh.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 30, 2014, 21:16 GMT)

@venkat_75r. Maddinson is nowhere near ready for test cricket, not by a long way & I am from NSW & see plenty of his Shield games. He hasn't had a great Shield season to date & needs to accumulate runs at a consistency to allow him to ease into test matches with limited issues.

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (January 30, 2014, 20:01 GMT)

I think Hughes is like Hodge. They get dropped for reasons that don't show on the scoreboard. Katich was another good player that seemed to have a target on his back. On the other hand, North kept being picked, no matter how often he failed.

Beats me!

Posted by Rooboy on (January 30, 2014, 19:59 GMT)

I think this is the right selection. Hughes has has his struggles but I still think he is part of Australian cricket's future. Jamie Cox commented that Hughes' case for inclusion was compelling. Yeah so compelling you overlooked him the first time. I like the way Australia's off field team is starting to form, here's hoping Cox isn't part of it for much longer.

Posted by Adoh on (January 30, 2014, 18:50 GMT)

Good stuff. Congrats to Phil. If we're picking teams on form, he is the right choice. He's also clearly demonstrated capability against the SA attack. Best of luck.

Posted by Biggus on (January 30, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

Glad he's been picked but he really needs to make it count. Young as he still is he needs to take this opportunity with both hands or he'll be moved to the back of the queue and labelled a Graham Hick.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

Hughes should've been picked in the first place, if the selectors were truly going by current form.

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 30, 2014, 15:17 GMT)

cannot wait for hughes the carve up south africas overrated trundlers once again. hopefully from number 3 position. the young man is going to become the next great batsman if the selectors stop treating him like an escaped convict. the cricket world is lucky to have the brilliance of p hughes

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 14:48 GMT)

well well well.. Australia go back to the proven failure Hughes. At what position do they play a "batsman" who is clueless against pace, at sea against swing and a dead duck against spin? Interesting choice

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (January 30, 2014, 14:43 GMT)

Hughes scores runs in the first innings, exactly what our top order is missing. Rogers can bat at 3.

All of Hughes' centuries this season have been in the first innings. Two of those games he failed in the second innings. Take out those two failures and his record this season is 550 runs at 78. He is on the way to a 1100 run season.

Posted by ScottStevo on (January 30, 2014, 14:27 GMT)

My XI for the first test is: Rogers, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Hughes, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon. If Hughes must open, then he can swap with Rogers.

Posted by ScottStevo on (January 30, 2014, 14:24 GMT)

@ravi_hari, Johnson should've been selected to play in the '13 Ashes in Eng, but due to his poor record there and the way the crowds got under his skin, was erroneously (IMHO!) omitted from the team and squad altogether. After his showing in the ODIs there after the test series, he was always a big chance of playing in Australia, regardless of who was fit. For me, the best 3 fast bowlers we have were selected for the '13/'14 series. As for Hughes, again, he's been left out as we've given him a few goes and then (once again, erroneously) dumped him without doing too much wrong. This time I thought we might've left him out for another season to really blitz shield and force his way back, but a few injuries have seen him through and I hope he takes whatever chance he may get...

Posted by Kirstenfan on (January 30, 2014, 14:20 GMT)

So looking forward to the Aus batting line-up getting shown up in SA! We were delighted Marsh was selected and probably as happy to see Hughes there. Don't think Steve Smith will score 100 runs in the series

Posted by ScottStevo on (January 30, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

@scarrule, I don't think Hughes is in the same class as Kohli, however, I think you're referring to an article by Chappelli (on this site) that was looking at the various tangent's each players career had gone in considering they're about the same age, rather than a comparative on respective skill levels. Also, Hughes has already been to SA and scored 2 centuries in the same test match against the same attack Kholi faced. No doubt Hughes has talent, the selectors just needed to keep the faith in his abilities rather than making him the scapegoat for poor all round performances in not 1, but 2 Ashes series. Gotta kill a man's confidence - yet he gets pushed back into shield cricket and instead of playing like a man lacking skill/confidence, he trounces it and piles on the runs. Maybe he's another ramprakash, or maybe we just need to give him the backing and support to play on and sort though his issues with the freedom he does at shield level.

Posted by Donian on (January 30, 2014, 14:04 GMT)

He's very lucky to have made it again, IMHO. He's just not Test grade from what we have seen, but I hope I am proved wrong.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 14:02 GMT)

It's a pity that it took an injury to Shaun Marsh for the right selection of Phil Hughes to take place for the SA tour. The original decision to exclude Hughes from the touring party was an abomination after he had posted such outstanding scores in the leadup to the selection period. He had more than fulfilled all of the selection criteria that had been demanded of him prior to this team being chosen by those who in earlier years I had previously respected for their astute decisions regarding team selection of our Australian side.

Posted by ravi_hari on (January 30, 2014, 13:39 GMT)

Jhonson was not the first choice seamer for Ashes. If Starc and Pattinson were fit he would not have been in the 12. He comes in because of injuries and walks away with the MOS award following brilliant performances all through. Who knows Hughes also might turn out to be another Jhonson. For all those who have been wondering why he was not in the team in the first place, get an answer for why Jhonson was not in the plan for the Ashes. Some times a lot of things come into consideration during a selection and what selectors would have seen in Marsh they may not have seen in Hughes. If Hughes is picked in the XI and performs, it will definitely embarass the selectors, but who knows Marsh might have performed better. I think we should take it as it comes. Hughes was destined to be on the tour and he has achieved that. Now it is upto him to prove that he was indeed the right choice. His ability was never under question, it was his temperament that is doubtful. Will he make the cut now?

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (January 30, 2014, 13:36 GMT)

Or Rogers 3, he has batted there a lot and has the experience to change. Moving either Warner or Hughes from opening may ruin their momentum.

Warner, Hughes, Rogers, Clarke, Smith Watson, Haddin looks OK to me.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (January 30, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

Courses for horses, Warner 3 with Watson 6. Seems simple to me. Hughes is an opener yet Warner can bat anywhere.

If they decide to go with Hughes at 6 at least SAf don't have any spinners at all and Hughes will be coming in against mediums.

Doolan will be a dead weight wherever he bats.

Posted by venkat_75r on (January 30, 2014, 13:05 GMT)

Why they are not looking beyond Hughes? He piles run in shield cricket, gets selected and fails in international matches, gets dropped. Again, he goes back to shield cricket, piles run and fails in international matches. This is going on and on and on…If I am a selector, I would have selected Nick Maddinson in the first place (not even Shaun Marsh). He did really well in the AUS A tour of SA last year. Also, he is a very positive and aggressive player, can take the matches away easily. Have not followed shield matches very much this year. However, always wondered about Mark Casgrove. He looked really good whenever I had seen him. - An Aussie fan from India.

Posted by Matt. on (January 30, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

I wouldn't be surprised if he gets dropped again by the end of this series or next. I think he definitely has a place in the future, but mentally he is not ready for test cricket. He has proven that over and over again, it's too soon to bring him back. I will be happy to be proven wrong of course :)

Posted by Gordo85 on (January 30, 2014, 12:50 GMT)

Typical it should have been Callum Ferguson who lost out his ODI spot to Marsh for no real reason at all. He stayed in the ODI squad but never got a single game only to be replaced with Marsh for no reason. I am pleased though however that Doolan has been rewarded. Fingers crossed you get a go at Test level soon enough Callum Ferguson before you get too old or else then Cricket Australia will never select you again.

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 30, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

Continued, also the Rogers/Warner opening combination failed to fire once in the first innings of any test if I'm not mistaken, where much more pressure was on. When they scored their respective centuries their opening partner was long gone. I think they only had two meaningful partnerships in Melbourne and Perth. Tough decision to make though.

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 30, 2014, 12:46 GMT)

The cricketing gods prevail. Can't believe I didn't expect it - of course Marsh was going to get injured.

Phil Hughes has four Test scores of 75 or more from nine innings in South Africa, five from 40 elsewhere. His best opportunity. But, I can't help but get the feeling that he should only play as opener. He'd still be better than Doolan at any other position because starting against spin isn't difficult when it's Peterson and Doolan's way overrated and not in the best 10 Shield bats, but Hughes is an opener first and foremost and he is far more comfortable there than any other position. I'm really not opposed to having Hughes open, Rogers at 3 and Twatto at 6. Rogers has played a lot at 3 in FC and scored thousands of runs there so it's not alien, and we need Hughes in the order as 1) best young talented batter by a mile and 2) Rogers, Watson, Clarke and co won't last long. Thoughts?

Posted by izzidole on (January 30, 2014, 12:36 GMT)

I predicted this would happen in my comment to cricinfo only a few days ago and that Phil Hughes will eventually replace Marsh in the team to South Africa. This is not the first time Marsh has suffered an injury after being selected and has never made it through a whole series other than in the test series against Sri Lanka three years ago where he scored a century in his debut. Either due to injury or lack of form. Marsh is a fine batsman when he gets going and is a treat to watch but some bad luck has dogged him right through his career. I reckon Hughes scored two centuries in his last appearance in South Africa in 2011 and his omssion from the initial squad announced was quite a surprise to many.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 12:03 GMT)

Congratulations to Hughes, i hope this time he will get the basics right and will perform good and will be permanent member of Australian team for next 10-12 years. My Australian XI will be 1. Chris Rogers 2. Dave Warner 3. Phil Hughes 4. Michael Clarke 5. Steve Smith 6. Shane Watson 7. Brad Haddin 8. Micheal Johnson 9. James Pattinson/Peter Siddle 10. Ryan Harris 11. Nathan Lyon/ Jackson Bird.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (January 30, 2014, 11:55 GMT)

If Hughes plays then what number will he bat. Cant see him opening as Warner and Rogers look set in that position. Watson is at 3 but there are question marks with his success. 4 and 5 seem set with clarke and smith. Maybe Doolan at 3 and watson at 6? Or we could just go old school and put hughes or doolan at 6 and tell them that if they want to bat in a better position then they need to get runs - love the old school.

Posted by dwblurb on (January 30, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

No disrespect to Shaun Marsh, but this is the selection that should have happened in the first place. Phil Hughes is a special talent who has been appallingly treated by successive selection panels.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 30, 2014, 11:37 GMT)

Couldn't think of a better place than South Africa for Hughes to finally beat the demons and earn his rightful place in the Test squad and squeeze Watson down the order or better yet out of the Test squad altogether.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 11:34 GMT)

Best decision Australian selectors have made! Put Hughes at number 3 and Watson at 6 the team would look a lot better! Hughes is in mint form and I hope to hell he performs, he is a really good batsmen and deserves one last chance.

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 30, 2014, 11:26 GMT)

These selections are truly puzzling. How on earth can Hughes be next in line BEHIND Marsh? There is just no logic to explain this one... The NSP really needs to be overhauled. Anyway.. hope Hughes does well in the warm-up - and if he does make the Test XI he must be given a fair extended run in the team, and be given the opportunity to make a position his own, whether it be opener or no.6.. wherever. No more shuffling him up and down the order.

Posted by derpherp on (January 30, 2014, 11:23 GMT)

@Mervo. Im glad you're not a selector.....Silk, Lynn are way to raw. They need to play more first class cricket otherwise they might end up as poorly mistreated as Hughes has.

Posted by scarrule on (January 30, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

Wow... Heard lot about this guy. Many say he is equivalent of virat kholi. Looking forward to see his performance against world's best bowling attack. Kholi scored a century when rest of the team was falling apart last year. Lets see if he can do the same. All the best to him.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (January 30, 2014, 11:15 GMT)

Marsh was the wrong selection because he had not performed well at 1st class level recently.

So to replace Marsh they select a guy who has performed well at 1st class level recently.

This inconsistency in selection practice must drive the players up the wall.

Posted by Mervo on (January 30, 2014, 11:05 GMT)

Hughes has a good eye, no proper technique and is not the sharpest tool in the box. All in all not a good choice. Better too send a stronger player for the future such as Silk, Lynn or even Voges for his determination and experience .

Posted by Potatis on (January 30, 2014, 11:04 GMT)

It should have been Phil Hughes to begin with.

Posted by Moppa on (January 30, 2014, 11:02 GMT)

Fortunate to have a selection blunder corrected by injury, but the doubts about what 'selecting on performance' means to Inverarity and co. will remain in Shield players' minds. I also wonder when was the last time Phil Hughes played a competitive red ball cricket match, perhaps a grade game in Adelaide sometime in the last month?

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (January 30, 2014, 11:00 GMT)

Great. Hughes might fail - but Marsh was guaranteed to fail.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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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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