Sussex v Australians, Tour match, Hove, 1st day July 26, 2013

Changing roles 'mentally frustrating' - Hughes

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Phillip Hughes doesn't bowl but he's rapidly becoming a different type of allrounder in this Australia line-up. After all, how many players can say they have batted in every position from opener to No. 6 in the space of five games? More than that, how many players could say they have done it with the success of Hughes, who has scored half-centuries everywhere except No. 4 on this Ashes tour?

It was not surprising that after his 84 as a reinstated opener on the first day against Sussex, Hughes used the word "frustrating" to describe his constant shimmying up and down the order. But if the tour seems like one long game of snakes and ladders to Hughes, he also knows that he has in his power the ability to make one of these positions his own. Instead, two scores of 1 batting at second drop at Lord's have potentially made him vulnerable ahead of the Old Trafford Test.

David Warner's 193 for Australia A in South Africa and Steven Smith's potential century at Hove could have the selectors considering Hughes' place in the lead-up to the third Test. That would be a strange scenario for the man who has scored more runs in the first-class matches on this tour than any other Australian, and the man who made a mature, patient unbeaten 81 at Trent Bridge, while his partner Ashton Agar was stealing the attention.

"I feel like I'm very comfortable at the crease at the moment," Hughes said. "The last Test match obviously didn't go to plan personally but it's only one game. I felt like the first Test match, the 80 I scored was probably one of the better innings I've scored in the international arena. Overall I feel confident and hopefully I'll be in that third Test side when it's selected. But you never know ... we'll have to just wait and see.

"It's quite bizarre [moving up and down the order] ... At times it can be tough to get your head around the different positions but you've just got to get on with it and that's the bottom line ... I don't mind where I bat but when you do bat one to six, mentally it can be frustrating. It is about opportunity as well. If you do get one position you do want to nail it down. I haven't nailed it down and that is why they have mixed it up and given people an opportunity."

Hughes started the tour with an unbeaten 76 batting at No. 5 against Somerset and was promoted to No.3 in the second innings of that match, when he made 50. In the second warm-up match against Worcestershire he made 19 not out at No. 6 and 86 at first drop. But since his 81 not out at No.6 in the first innings at Trent Bridge, he has followed up with 0, 1 and 1, and he knows that Test runs will count for vastly more than those against county attacks.

"When you lose Test matches there are obviously changes," he said. "When you lose it is not a good thing. It is about finding the right balance. You dont know what they are going to do. It is about improving day in and day out and doing the best you can in these games.

"I think there's always competition and that's a good thing. It's great to see Davey score a big 190 for Australia A and I thought we all batted quite well today. Ed Cowan up front, then Steve Smith and myself. It's always been competition from the word go. That's a good thing."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • landl47 on July 26, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    I thought Hughes' 81* was the best I have seen him play. However, since then he has been completely bamboozled by Swann twice and out to a wild thrash at a wide ball from Bresnan- two runs in three innings. If the wicket at Old Trafford has a bit of bounce and turn, it's hard to see him making runs against England.

    It's also hard to know where to put him in the batting order- as an opener his defence against the ball going across him towards the slips is as near to non-existent as makes no difference and yet he's not a great player of spin, since he doesn't seem to see the ball early enough to use his feet, so middle order isn't great for him either.

    Like a number of the current Aus side, he can look good when he's attacking, but his defence isn't up to test standard. Still, at least he has made some decent scores on this tour so far.

  • H_Z_O on July 28, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    @jmcilhinney think there's a bit of a hangover in some of the fans' mentality from a time when they had so many batsmen to pick from that a batsman genuinely had to feel grateful if he was given more than a couple of chances to put things right. The talent pool now isn't as deep. A batsman who's struggling (and bear in mind, he did score 81* in the first innings at Trent Bridge) has to be persisted with now because there isn't anyone better who's ready to step in.

    Hughes needn't feel "grateful" for the opportunity (although he should be honoured to represent his country, and I imagine he probably is). The fans should be grateful they have him. Who else is there? Silk and Doolan didn't do enough on the A team tour to press their claims, while Maddinson averaged 35 in the Shield last year.

    The truth is, despite their failures, these are the best batsmen Australia have got right now, with the possible exception of David Hussey, who must wonder how he keeps getting overlooked.

  • on July 28, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    Too much is made of batting positions. Hughes should be thankful he even has the chance and should get on with it. Having said that, Clarke should get the idea out of his head that he can only bat at 5 and push up the order. When he is in he brings the best out his partner but that is wasted when they are already back in the sheds.

  • on July 28, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    He has no right to express frustration at where he is put in the bating order. He should be pulling his head in and learning to play spin bowling and nailing down any position he is given. Black mark for Hughes

  • jmcilhinney on July 28, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    @popcorn on (July 27, 2013, 15:44 GMT), I agree with what you say but I think that you're being a bit hard on Hughes with regards to what he's quoted as saying here. Many people make comments on these stories as though a player has called a press conference to make an announcement. I doubt that Hughes sought out a journalist to voice his frustration. He would have been giving an interview and would have been asked how he felt and given an honest answer. It would be frustrating for any batsman to have their perceived role change after almost every innings, especially when they are desperately trying to justify their selection. I imagine that he finds his lack of runs somewhat more frustrating though. I also imagine that, if Khawaja was asked how he felt at having such limited opportunities, he would say something like that he was frustrated too. It's not a complaint; it's just an expression of emotion that you would expect a player in that situation to have.

  • SaracensBob on July 28, 2013, 1:03 GMT

    An Aus side to compete at Old Trafford? I have one from numbers three to eleven - Khawaja; Clarke; Smith; Watson; Haddin; Siddle; Bird; Harris; Lyon. On the basis of the tour so far I do not have a clue as to the openers and I think the Aus selectors are in the same situation!

  • on July 27, 2013, 23:51 GMT

    I have been following cricket for roughly 40 years and aside from the Packer era and now, I can't think of any time where Hughes would be in even the top 10 available Aussie batsmen. He is lucky Magoffin and Anyon are rested for this match, as they both made short work of him last time he played Sussex (for Worcs) and would almost certainly have done so again.

  • popcorn on July 27, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Here is Phil Hughes expressing frustration at having been moved up and down the batting order - as if his Test Place was a given, a shoo in. He should consider himself lucky to be in THIS Team after three failures - first, The Ashes 2009,next New Zealand - caught Guptill (in the slips) bowled Martin - 4 times,and most recently in the four Tests against India. In contrast, spare a thought for the unflappable, never complained, Usman Khawaja, a superb batsman with better technique than Phil Hughes,who replaced Ricky Ponting at Number 3 for the SCG Test,when Ricky had a finger injury,and since then moved to Number 6,and failed because he is NOT a Number 6 player. Or Chris Rogers, Or Rob Quiney. Or Martin Love.Or Brad Hodge.

  • Beertjie on July 27, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Spot on @Travis Marke on (July 26, 2013, 23:53 GMT), but given the past it was hard to be humble! What now? Take sentiment out of it. The top 6 need to be re-configured which can't be done in the middle of an Ashes series. Rogers must go, sadly, as must Cowan. Age is not on their side. I regard Hughes and Warner as stop-gaps. Find Khawaja-like players in their place and stick with them: Silk may be such a one within a year or so. Everything is up for grabs atm. A line-up for Ashes II needs to be based on both current form and ability to play in a certain way, also bearing in mind how left-handers struggle against Swann: Doolan, Hughes, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Burns, Paine, Pattinson, Siddle, Bird, Fawad Ahmed. With Siddle and Bird capable of long spells there is no need for an all-rounder, so no Watson. Cummins could come in for Pattinson on a rotation basis. Stick with them all except Warner and Hughes until a more solid type emerges (if ever!).

  • H_Z_O on July 27, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    @Chris_Howard to be fair, Watson should have a better batting average than Fred. I always said Fred was a bowling all-rounder, where Watson's clearly a batting one.

    As for his better average with the ball, he's been used more as a containing bowler than Flintoff, who was always used as an attacking option. Need a wicket? Get Fred on. And more often than not, he delivered the vital breakthroughs.

    Fred's also the archetypal "Stats don't tell the whole story" player. His strike rate is higher than I realised, because whenever you watched him, he was a threat. But as I look back now, I remember that he bowled a lot of hostile spells where he applied pressure without much luck, only for another bowler to get the wicket.

    That said, I agree with your overall point. For years Watson was selected based on "potential". He's 32. Meanwhile, as Barnesy points out, Hughes, a guy with genuine potential and time on his side, gets the run around by the selectors.

    Like Lyon, and Hauritz before him.

  • landl47 on July 26, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    I thought Hughes' 81* was the best I have seen him play. However, since then he has been completely bamboozled by Swann twice and out to a wild thrash at a wide ball from Bresnan- two runs in three innings. If the wicket at Old Trafford has a bit of bounce and turn, it's hard to see him making runs against England.

    It's also hard to know where to put him in the batting order- as an opener his defence against the ball going across him towards the slips is as near to non-existent as makes no difference and yet he's not a great player of spin, since he doesn't seem to see the ball early enough to use his feet, so middle order isn't great for him either.

    Like a number of the current Aus side, he can look good when he's attacking, but his defence isn't up to test standard. Still, at least he has made some decent scores on this tour so far.

  • H_Z_O on July 28, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    @jmcilhinney think there's a bit of a hangover in some of the fans' mentality from a time when they had so many batsmen to pick from that a batsman genuinely had to feel grateful if he was given more than a couple of chances to put things right. The talent pool now isn't as deep. A batsman who's struggling (and bear in mind, he did score 81* in the first innings at Trent Bridge) has to be persisted with now because there isn't anyone better who's ready to step in.

    Hughes needn't feel "grateful" for the opportunity (although he should be honoured to represent his country, and I imagine he probably is). The fans should be grateful they have him. Who else is there? Silk and Doolan didn't do enough on the A team tour to press their claims, while Maddinson averaged 35 in the Shield last year.

    The truth is, despite their failures, these are the best batsmen Australia have got right now, with the possible exception of David Hussey, who must wonder how he keeps getting overlooked.

  • on July 28, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    Too much is made of batting positions. Hughes should be thankful he even has the chance and should get on with it. Having said that, Clarke should get the idea out of his head that he can only bat at 5 and push up the order. When he is in he brings the best out his partner but that is wasted when they are already back in the sheds.

  • on July 28, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    He has no right to express frustration at where he is put in the bating order. He should be pulling his head in and learning to play spin bowling and nailing down any position he is given. Black mark for Hughes

  • jmcilhinney on July 28, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    @popcorn on (July 27, 2013, 15:44 GMT), I agree with what you say but I think that you're being a bit hard on Hughes with regards to what he's quoted as saying here. Many people make comments on these stories as though a player has called a press conference to make an announcement. I doubt that Hughes sought out a journalist to voice his frustration. He would have been giving an interview and would have been asked how he felt and given an honest answer. It would be frustrating for any batsman to have their perceived role change after almost every innings, especially when they are desperately trying to justify their selection. I imagine that he finds his lack of runs somewhat more frustrating though. I also imagine that, if Khawaja was asked how he felt at having such limited opportunities, he would say something like that he was frustrated too. It's not a complaint; it's just an expression of emotion that you would expect a player in that situation to have.

  • SaracensBob on July 28, 2013, 1:03 GMT

    An Aus side to compete at Old Trafford? I have one from numbers three to eleven - Khawaja; Clarke; Smith; Watson; Haddin; Siddle; Bird; Harris; Lyon. On the basis of the tour so far I do not have a clue as to the openers and I think the Aus selectors are in the same situation!

  • on July 27, 2013, 23:51 GMT

    I have been following cricket for roughly 40 years and aside from the Packer era and now, I can't think of any time where Hughes would be in even the top 10 available Aussie batsmen. He is lucky Magoffin and Anyon are rested for this match, as they both made short work of him last time he played Sussex (for Worcs) and would almost certainly have done so again.

  • popcorn on July 27, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Here is Phil Hughes expressing frustration at having been moved up and down the batting order - as if his Test Place was a given, a shoo in. He should consider himself lucky to be in THIS Team after three failures - first, The Ashes 2009,next New Zealand - caught Guptill (in the slips) bowled Martin - 4 times,and most recently in the four Tests against India. In contrast, spare a thought for the unflappable, never complained, Usman Khawaja, a superb batsman with better technique than Phil Hughes,who replaced Ricky Ponting at Number 3 for the SCG Test,when Ricky had a finger injury,and since then moved to Number 6,and failed because he is NOT a Number 6 player. Or Chris Rogers, Or Rob Quiney. Or Martin Love.Or Brad Hodge.

  • Beertjie on July 27, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Spot on @Travis Marke on (July 26, 2013, 23:53 GMT), but given the past it was hard to be humble! What now? Take sentiment out of it. The top 6 need to be re-configured which can't be done in the middle of an Ashes series. Rogers must go, sadly, as must Cowan. Age is not on their side. I regard Hughes and Warner as stop-gaps. Find Khawaja-like players in their place and stick with them: Silk may be such a one within a year or so. Everything is up for grabs atm. A line-up for Ashes II needs to be based on both current form and ability to play in a certain way, also bearing in mind how left-handers struggle against Swann: Doolan, Hughes, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Burns, Paine, Pattinson, Siddle, Bird, Fawad Ahmed. With Siddle and Bird capable of long spells there is no need for an all-rounder, so no Watson. Cummins could come in for Pattinson on a rotation basis. Stick with them all except Warner and Hughes until a more solid type emerges (if ever!).

  • H_Z_O on July 27, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    @Chris_Howard to be fair, Watson should have a better batting average than Fred. I always said Fred was a bowling all-rounder, where Watson's clearly a batting one.

    As for his better average with the ball, he's been used more as a containing bowler than Flintoff, who was always used as an attacking option. Need a wicket? Get Fred on. And more often than not, he delivered the vital breakthroughs.

    Fred's also the archetypal "Stats don't tell the whole story" player. His strike rate is higher than I realised, because whenever you watched him, he was a threat. But as I look back now, I remember that he bowled a lot of hostile spells where he applied pressure without much luck, only for another bowler to get the wicket.

    That said, I agree with your overall point. For years Watson was selected based on "potential". He's 32. Meanwhile, as Barnesy points out, Hughes, a guy with genuine potential and time on his side, gets the run around by the selectors.

    Like Lyon, and Hauritz before him.

  • PTtheAxis on July 27, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    never has a team come for a tour with so many openers - cowan, watson, warner, hughes, rogers ... and people wonder why they are a brittle line-up. its just clarke + openers + the now-customary last wicket partnership.

  • Barnesy4444 on July 27, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Hughes is the best young batsman in Australia and has been for the last 4 years. He has been shuffled around going back to being dropped in 2009 after only 2 low scores. This was shortly after a player of the series effort against S.Af.

    He has been dropped when in form, picked when out of form, persisted with in one position for a few tests then shuffled around for no particular reason.

    Under a coach/captain combination like Simpson/Border, Hughes would be a regular and senior player by now ready to take on world-class bowlers like Jimmy Anderson.

  • on July 27, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    and yes bring back lyon. agar has done well but his bowling is a couple of years away from test standard. has a big future though.

  • on July 27, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    pretty hard picking the bats for the next test. all have some runs in the series but none have sured up a spot. time to think about the future and the 5 tests back in australia. rogers, warner, khwaja, hughes, clarke, smith. leave watson to play a year of shield cricket and see if he can learn to score first class runs again. not the quick fire 20/20 rubbish. if he is as good as he seems to think he is he'll top the runs and averages by shield season close.

  • Rahul_78 on July 27, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Australia's biggest problem has been putting runs on board. If Hughes opens or bats at 3 he will have to deal with Anderson who is going to exploit his weakness outside off stump. If he bats any lower then there is rampant Swann licking his lips. And with all due respect it doesn't look like Hughes is going to score any runs against Swann. Last thing Aussies want is a guy scratching around in the middle and handing the initiative back to Swann and co. It was treacherous to see Hughes struggle against spin. At least with Warner there is a possibility that he will attack Swann and might succeed. Ombré honest Swann hasn't looked at his best so far but the Aussie struggling left handers have provided him with confidence. The best chance still form Aussies is to attack Swann and make Anderson bowl as many overs as possible. Unfortunately in this plan Hughes doesn't fit the bill. In the partnership with Agar it was the rookie who looked seasoned pro between the two.

  • on July 27, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    The only thing permanent about Australia's batting since the retirement of Hussey is Clarke at five. Everyone else and where they bat is subject to change as if by constantly shuffling a dozen players around five positions randomly would suddenly make them come good. This certified lunacy - perpetuating the same mistake over and over again expecting a different result - actually goes back to the start of Clarke's reign as captain. The difference compared with other Test nations, England and India in particular, is stark. The latter two operate to a reasoned and well-researched plan whereas no one would be surprised to learn that Cricket Australia resorts to casting the leaves...

  • Maui3 on July 27, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    Let go of Hughes. The kid doesn't have the technique needed for test cricket. Kinda like Suresh Raina. He would do better focussing on T20 and ODI and make some money on the way as well.

  • DragonCricketer on July 27, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    i put my money on Hughes before the 1st Test to be Australia's top run scorer in Ashes. 7 to 1. I'm still confident he will be the top run scorer. He must have learnt something about spin in India. Surely. Everyone says he is the perfect student. He really came back strong last year. He is slowly fixing his weaknesses: 1. Leg side and stepping away 2. Nicking it outside off too much. and now 3. Spin Soon, he will be the complete player !! PS: He has been my favourite player since his debut. The Prodigy.

  • on July 27, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    They have batted Phillip Hughes in every position from opener down to No 6. The only time he hasn't made a decent score in a match on tour was the last Test, when he batted at No 4 and failed in both innings. Sure he hasn't gone on to get a century (YET!!), but he will, as long as they can settle on his role in the team.

  • ozwriter on July 27, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    if i was hughes, i wouldn't be using the media to try and defend my position. it hasn't looked good in the past and it doesn't now either

  • D-Train on July 27, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    Harden up Hughes. If you were good enough you'd be able to play anywhere. Your role is simply to score runs, regardless of if you're opening or if you're no. 8

  • jmcilhinney on July 27, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    Given the changes in personnel, it's easy to see why Hughes was moved up to open in this game when he has pretty much no chance of doing so in a Test match. That said, moving him around the batting order in the Test matches themselves is not a good sign. It's obvious that the selectors think that he has talent but don't know how to best utilise that talent. As has been said, Hughes has some obvious weaknesses that don't lend themselves to his batting anywhere specific. On his good days he looks great but it's never hard to come up with a plan to bowl to him and, if that plan is backed up by quality bowlers, there's a good chance that he will be gone early. Australia are desperately trying to salvage something from this series but by doing so they may well be hurting their future prospects. The selectors are in a no-win situation because if they stick with a line-up and Australia lose badly they'll be criticised, even if those selections lead to success down the road.

  • Amith_S on July 27, 2013, 2:42 GMT

    Hughes is our best opener, Khawaja our best number 3, he should not be batting at 6 or 5.

  • Chris_Howard on July 27, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    The Australian selectors will keep Watson and bring in Warner. Someone has to go. Sadly, Hughes may again lose his spot because of the selectors' obsession with Watson and their fantasy that he is a genuine batsman, rather than a dcent all-rounder.

    Watto is meant to be Australia's answer to Flintoff. He does have both a better batting and bowling average, but hasn't had anywhere near the success of Flintoff in winning us matches.

    Flintoff turned 16% of his half centuries into centuries. Watson, less than 10%.

    Flintoff averaged 1.6 wickets per innings, Watto averages 1per innings.

    Flintoff took four or more wickets in 10% of his innings. Watson has done it 6%

    Watson is an impact player, but not a finisher. The one when you need a wicket, or some quick runs. Yep, handy to have.

    But Flintoff was a match winner.

    I'd pick a match winner before an impact player any day.

    If Watson had any decency at all, he would demand the selectors only pick him on form, not favour and fantasy.

  • xylo on July 27, 2013, 1:39 GMT

    David Warner's 190+ on a flat lifeless pitch is being compared to a 80+ score on a lively pitch. We might as well be comparing somebody's T20 performances with somebody else's test performances.

  • VillageBlacksmith on July 27, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    this is at least his 3rd or 4th re-incarnation as a test player... and he is/they are still not sure where he shd bat (bcos he cant play the moving ball, or the turning ball!) or whether he should actually be in the side (bcos he gets a 50 then a string of low scores and then plays wild slogs), a pretty hopless state of affairs, but long may it continue... last yr AB on commentary astonishingly described him as ''he is now the finished article''... perhaps he just meant finished...

  • Barnesy4444 on July 27, 2013, 1:05 GMT

    RohanMarkJay is correct.

    The two most senior batsmen in the side, Clarke and Watson, are being shuffled around too. If it's 'hard' for Watson to be moved around the top 4 then how hard would it be for a young batsmen like Hughes who has always been an opener?

    Hughes is by far the best young batsmen in Australia at the moment and deserves opportunity. Khawaja is averaging 30 this tour, Hughes 72. Put Hughes at 3 and leave him there, please.

  • H_Z_O on July 27, 2013, 0:59 GMT

    @landl47 he's at his best, in terms of scoring runs, in the top 3. Always has been. It was interesting, though, to note how much more responsible he was at 6. It may be that when he comes in earlier, he loosens up, mentally, thinking that someone else (Clarke) is still there to come in and do a disciplined job, so he doesn't have to.

    I'm going to sound like a lunatic for this but I've long maintained they should play a top 3 of Hughes, Warner and Khawaja. Yeah, they might find themselves 30-3 once in a while (ok, maybe a lot of the time, at least at first) but so what? England were 30-3 both times at Lord's. They got to 274-6 and 344-6.

    Meanwhile Australia were a very solid 84-1 in their second innings at Trent Bridge and a still decent 42-1 in the first innings at Lord's. They then proceeded to lose 5 for 80 and 5 for 48.

    Watson's 32, Rogers is 35, Cowan 31. Hughes is 24, Khawaja 26, Warner 26. Having experienced players hasn't stopped them struggling. Why not go for younger ones?

  • on July 27, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    @landl47 don't tell me any umpire would have given Hughes dismissal in the first test with the naked eye... that was a farce it was leg side, 1 mm in line should not be enough to overturn the on field umpire decision... Then if Clarke thinks his average at 4 is bad he should of looked at Hughes first... he was their best batsman in the first test and was unsettled and put to sword

  • on July 26, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    As an Australian, I am certain we will look back on the period of the last 4 years as an embarrassing blight on our history. From result pitches countrywide, to BBL cash grabs over Sheffield Shield prominence, to creating a culture of uncertainty and insecurity over team places and batting orders. We have ruined the confidence of Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja and the like, who are already behind the 8 ball in terms of Test batting technique and temperament because of the failure to allow what, as @RohanMarkJay outlined, was a masterstroke by Allan Border in building a team. And the single biggest factor in this now festering Aus team culture? The sheer inability for the Cricket Aus hierarchy to be humble in it's rebuilding phase. Instead of saying "yeah, we may take awhile to rebuild but we'll choose a team and stick with them", Aus have constantly wheeled out the rhetoric of "if you're not performing, you're out", trying to make the buck stop with players in their infancy. Sad, sad, sad.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 26, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    If the selectors have reverted to Hughes because they genuinely think he has matured as a player and want to give him a long enough run in the side to prove it, at least they are backing their own judgment. But on the evidence of my own eyes England have him on toast and I can't see him making any kind of impact.

  • heathrf1974 on July 26, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    @John Verdal. I agree, him and Watson should open with Warner at three.

  • gtr800 on July 26, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    @landl47 You don't always need a great technique to succeed at test match cricket. What you need is belief & eye. I am a firm believer that good defence and technique can get you through tough times in test cricket, but the lack of it- aggressive batting can aswell. Look at sehwag- he doesn't care what people think of his technique - its terrible. He believes in his eye thats it. Hits the ball, has an average above 50, hit 2 triple centuries. It can also be about creating pressure, not letting the bowlers bowl on good lengths, counter attacking. Because if australia don't have the technique then thats the only way to approach it. They just need to believe.

  • nicktheump on July 26, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    Perhaps it's just another one of those quirky cricketing coincidences...but both man of the match on test debut, both from country NSW, both played grade cricket with western suburbs and both scored 81n.o, 0 and 1, 1 in their first two ashes tests! Hughes' career is mirroring that of Peter Toohey more and more each test....

  • SpinningBouncer on July 26, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    How about this line up? Hughes, Rogers, Khawaja, Cowan, Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Siddle, Bird, Harris, Lyon, Starc (12).......... seems like a good one to me.

  • on July 26, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    it was remarkable how little discussion took place about the changes to the order at Lords. Hughes looked great at 6 -up to 4. Smith held them together at 5 - down to 6. Khawaja did well at 3, that was a given. but Clarke flopped at 4 so everyone had to move... so Hughes can bat behind Smith in the lower order but above him in the middle? it was weird...

  • on July 26, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    I agree with John Verdal. Phil Hughes is much better against pace and therefore should bat as much against that kind of bowling as possible if Australia want to use him. In the middle of the innings, if spin bowlers are on the money and bowling accurately, Hughes just hasn't got a clue. Hence his troubles against Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Graeme Swann.

  • Sanj747 on July 26, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Swann has his measure. Based on the evidence to date Hughes unfortunately does not have the mental strength nor the technical skills to combat what is being given to him out in the middle. Move on from here is what I would say to the selectors.

  • RohanMarkJay on July 26, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    I like Hughes I think he is a very good cricketer and batsman. Unfortunately, his skipper and coach can't give him a settled position in the side. I think Hughes would have been a Australian cricketer would have flourished under Allan Border rather than the current regime of the last 4 years. Which like to chop and change, which Border was never a fan of. Border would get a bunch of players together and build them up from scratch. Within a few years after a lot of hard work and training under leadership of Border they would be a tough,effective, professional battle hardened unit. Which they were by as early as 1989. Ready to do anything for their skipper Allan Border.

  • on July 26, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    phil hughes should open the batting. he just cant play spin bowling.

  • on July 26, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    phil hughes should open the batting. he just cant play spin bowling.

  • RohanMarkJay on July 26, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    I like Hughes I think he is a very good cricketer and batsman. Unfortunately, his skipper and coach can't give him a settled position in the side. I think Hughes would have been a Australian cricketer would have flourished under Allan Border rather than the current regime of the last 4 years. Which like to chop and change, which Border was never a fan of. Border would get a bunch of players together and build them up from scratch. Within a few years after a lot of hard work and training under leadership of Border they would be a tough,effective, professional battle hardened unit. Which they were by as early as 1989. Ready to do anything for their skipper Allan Border.

  • Sanj747 on July 26, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Swann has his measure. Based on the evidence to date Hughes unfortunately does not have the mental strength nor the technical skills to combat what is being given to him out in the middle. Move on from here is what I would say to the selectors.

  • on July 26, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    I agree with John Verdal. Phil Hughes is much better against pace and therefore should bat as much against that kind of bowling as possible if Australia want to use him. In the middle of the innings, if spin bowlers are on the money and bowling accurately, Hughes just hasn't got a clue. Hence his troubles against Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Graeme Swann.

  • on July 26, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    it was remarkable how little discussion took place about the changes to the order at Lords. Hughes looked great at 6 -up to 4. Smith held them together at 5 - down to 6. Khawaja did well at 3, that was a given. but Clarke flopped at 4 so everyone had to move... so Hughes can bat behind Smith in the lower order but above him in the middle? it was weird...

  • SpinningBouncer on July 26, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    How about this line up? Hughes, Rogers, Khawaja, Cowan, Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Siddle, Bird, Harris, Lyon, Starc (12).......... seems like a good one to me.

  • nicktheump on July 26, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    Perhaps it's just another one of those quirky cricketing coincidences...but both man of the match on test debut, both from country NSW, both played grade cricket with western suburbs and both scored 81n.o, 0 and 1, 1 in their first two ashes tests! Hughes' career is mirroring that of Peter Toohey more and more each test....

  • gtr800 on July 26, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    @landl47 You don't always need a great technique to succeed at test match cricket. What you need is belief & eye. I am a firm believer that good defence and technique can get you through tough times in test cricket, but the lack of it- aggressive batting can aswell. Look at sehwag- he doesn't care what people think of his technique - its terrible. He believes in his eye thats it. Hits the ball, has an average above 50, hit 2 triple centuries. It can also be about creating pressure, not letting the bowlers bowl on good lengths, counter attacking. Because if australia don't have the technique then thats the only way to approach it. They just need to believe.

  • heathrf1974 on July 26, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    @John Verdal. I agree, him and Watson should open with Warner at three.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 26, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    If the selectors have reverted to Hughes because they genuinely think he has matured as a player and want to give him a long enough run in the side to prove it, at least they are backing their own judgment. But on the evidence of my own eyes England have him on toast and I can't see him making any kind of impact.