The Investec Ashes 2013 August 15, 2013

'Need form nearly every innings these days' - Hughes

33

Phillip Hughes knows a thing or two about being dropped and, as a result, he feels better about his current exile than his previous omissions. Hughes was left out after two Ashes Tests in 2009 when he struggled against the short ball, and again after the home series against New Zealand in 2011, when he became the bunny of bowler Chris Martin and slip fielder Martin Guptill. This time, though, Hughes has been shuffled out at a time when he is confident in his own game.

Making way for the Old Trafford Test was a harsh blow for Hughes, who at the time was Australia's leading run scorer in the first-class matches on this Ashes tour. Even now, after two more Tests, he sits behind only Test centurions Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers on that list. His fighting 81 not out in the first innings at Trent Bridge was followed by 0, 1 and 1. But Hughes believes that despite the low scores, he is in a much better place than he was after his 2011 axing.

"It's never easy to be dropped but I feel that one was tougher than this one, and I'm being really honest about that," Hughes said. "I feel this one, it was only three bats before I got dropped. I probably scored one of my better Test innings so it's something I'm not overly concerned about. I feel my game is in a really good place.

"Also I got runs in Sussex [in a tour game] as well and I suppose the games that have been on tour in Worcester, Somerset and Sussex, I feel like I'm hitting the ball well. But I did miss out and had a real poor game at Lord's. I suppose they're trying to find the best combination and I wasn't in that for the last two games and I respect that. But hopefully I can get back in the side sooner rather than later. I feel like my confidence isn't shot at all.

"There is always pressure. I have always felt pressure at this level. When you lose there is more pressure. In my short career in the past couple of years we haven't won enough Test matches. You feel you are only in the team for a couple of games. That comes with losing. You need form nearly every innings these days to hold your spot and until we start winning that's going to continue."

Hughes will have a chance to remind the selectors of his tour form during Australia's two-day match against the England Lions in Northampton starting on Friday. Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris and Brad Haddin have already traveled to London ahead of The Oval Test but the rest of the squad is in Northampton and there are a number of men who will be searching for batting form, including the Test No.3 Usman Khawaja and the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.

"When you do play games there's an opportunity," Hughes said. "Whoever plays will have an opportunity and that's a good thing. I haven't had an opportunity since I got dropped - or got left out the side - so I've really been looking forward to going out and playing some cricket and hopefully push my claims forward with a big score. It is always disappointing to get dropped, but it's about moving on and I'm not one to dwell on what's happened."

Hughes said he had been given feedback by the coach Darren Lehmann and the on-duty selector Rod Marsh after being dropped, and knew that one of his areas for improvement was to ensure he gets a start. That Hughes fell so early in his three innings following the 81 at Lord's hurt his chances of retaining his place in the side when David Warner returned from South Africa.

"You have to take your chances. That is something I didn't do at Lord's. What hurt was scoring three very low scores after that 80," he said. "I missed out twice. I feel that in my career I've got a lot of low scores but when I get in, I go on with it. I have to start and get my scores up to 20s and 30s and get more starts. My record would say if I do that I go on with it. I have to get better at getting through the first 20 or 30 balls."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • pat_one_back on August 18, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Hughes & Khawaja will both come good given time, aside from Bell EVERY batsmen has failed to dominate this series, in general Eng batsmen have managed 20-30's where Aust have walked off in single digits if that. Would like to see Hughes given a chance in his natural opening role, Warner dropping back to 3 as a Dean Jones/young Ricky Ponting style counter attacking first drop. Khawaja is a 4-6 who will find his way sooner down there. There simply is no-one indisputably better knocking down the door, give this team/squad another year and see what happens, there's greater hope in perseverence than there is in waiting for illusory selection salvation.

  • Mandini on August 18, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    You Hughes fans must be kidding, since the "twin centuries" he has had 45 innings at an average of around 27, in about 40 of those innings he looked like he could get out any ball. Now the best that can be said is he got an 80 before his last 0,1,1. Nobody bothers to point out that a 19 year old kid who had never played test cricket before got a 90 at the same time, I suggest that those scores had more to do with a below par bowling effort rather than any exceptional batting talent. If you picked any top order batsman from Sheffield Shield and said you are going to get 45 test innings no matter how you perform he is likely to have an average of 27 or more. Sad to say Hughes is simply not test standard, let him play ODI and T20 where his stand and slash technique is perfectly suited and nobody really cares about the result. He will be entertaining and will in all likelihood enjoy himself.

  • anton1234 on August 17, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Don't mess too much with people's technique. The game would be boring if everyone played in a textbook manner. I would rather watch a hundred from Hughes than one from Tendulkar any day.

  • Shan156 on August 17, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    @Someguy, although Watson will fall leg before sooner than later (and waste a review after that), the Aussies value his bowling and the fact that he is a right hand batsman. The Aussie side has too many left handers and don't want to replace Watson with another left hander. Makes sense against Swann whose record against left hand batsmen is terrific. Problem is, Watto doesn't last long against pace before he can settle down and wreak havoc.

  • Shan156 on August 17, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    With his technique (or the lack of) against spin, I wonder how he managed to make that 80 against Swann in Trent Bridge. 0,1, and 1 is the norm. 80 was the exception.

    Still, good player against pace though. You don't get twin hundreds against Steyn and co. if you are not a really good player. However, Flintoff exposed his weaknesses in 2009. Since then, he has improved against pace but has been vulnerable against spin.

  • Barnesy4444 on August 16, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    Any cricket coach will tell you the three most important things when batting are: 1) Watch the ball. 2) Keep your head still. 3) Concentrate. Phil Hughes has all three of these in spades. Yet people say his technique is terrible? These are the same people singing the praises of Simon Katich!

    Stop trying to stuff around with his "technique", just let Hughes bat, then sit back and watch the runs flow.

  • DragonCricketer on August 16, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    @Steve Back. Of course The Don is twice as good as everyone else and I said that a bit tongue in cheek. But I have heard that his technique was different, The way he held the bat, turned to leg more than usual. He favoured leg and when interviewed when he was about 86 he said that this was probably the reason he was rarely caught in the slips.

  • on August 16, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @Chris_P: Relax, Chris, I was only joking and being facetious. However, you cannot compare Phil Hughes' technique to those of Chanderpaul and Katich. That just doesn't make sense. They are completely different and the other two are far more inventive and effective. I've seen a lot of Hughes and I just think Australia will have better batsmen around somewhere. There must be a reason why he struggles to rotate the strike against spin bowling, and how open his stance is on the off-side; this has often prevented him from being able to clip the ball on to the leg-side confidently. It's as if his scoring area is severely limited by the position of his pads.

  • on August 16, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    @DragonCricketer: Are you for real? You're saying Don Bradman didn't have a good technique?! Do you know anything about cricket? Have you watched any footage of him? His technique was the most effective in history! The way he maximised his use of the crease, getting deep into it when pulling the ball, the power he achieved in his cover drive could not have been replicated by anyone else's technique. Phil Hughes can do little of this - he is too open on the off-side, which makes him struggle to clip the ball of his pads. Bradman would laugh at this.

  • SpadeaSpade on August 16, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Bout time people started to back our young players instead of trying to bring them down. The difference in the ashes test thus far has no doubt been the inability to build middle order partnerships. But I also expect people to accept that our young players are facing a seasoned test bowling attack and provided we remain patient and don,t throw the baby out with the bath water, these guys will learn immensly from this tour and be far better players for it. All those bagging Hughes, khawaja should take a step back and realise there attitude would have ensured one Stephen Waugh would not have gone on to become one of Australia,s immortals. He showed talent as well but using the same yard stick would have ceased to play more the 20 tests. It's disappointing to lose if not gut wrenching for the enthusiats. But losing builds hunger and determination so get behind the team and insist they fight and be patient. The poms are not that far ahead. Lets get em in the 5th test GO BOYS

  • pat_one_back on August 18, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Hughes & Khawaja will both come good given time, aside from Bell EVERY batsmen has failed to dominate this series, in general Eng batsmen have managed 20-30's where Aust have walked off in single digits if that. Would like to see Hughes given a chance in his natural opening role, Warner dropping back to 3 as a Dean Jones/young Ricky Ponting style counter attacking first drop. Khawaja is a 4-6 who will find his way sooner down there. There simply is no-one indisputably better knocking down the door, give this team/squad another year and see what happens, there's greater hope in perseverence than there is in waiting for illusory selection salvation.

  • Mandini on August 18, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    You Hughes fans must be kidding, since the "twin centuries" he has had 45 innings at an average of around 27, in about 40 of those innings he looked like he could get out any ball. Now the best that can be said is he got an 80 before his last 0,1,1. Nobody bothers to point out that a 19 year old kid who had never played test cricket before got a 90 at the same time, I suggest that those scores had more to do with a below par bowling effort rather than any exceptional batting talent. If you picked any top order batsman from Sheffield Shield and said you are going to get 45 test innings no matter how you perform he is likely to have an average of 27 or more. Sad to say Hughes is simply not test standard, let him play ODI and T20 where his stand and slash technique is perfectly suited and nobody really cares about the result. He will be entertaining and will in all likelihood enjoy himself.

  • anton1234 on August 17, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Don't mess too much with people's technique. The game would be boring if everyone played in a textbook manner. I would rather watch a hundred from Hughes than one from Tendulkar any day.

  • Shan156 on August 17, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    @Someguy, although Watson will fall leg before sooner than later (and waste a review after that), the Aussies value his bowling and the fact that he is a right hand batsman. The Aussie side has too many left handers and don't want to replace Watson with another left hander. Makes sense against Swann whose record against left hand batsmen is terrific. Problem is, Watto doesn't last long against pace before he can settle down and wreak havoc.

  • Shan156 on August 17, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    With his technique (or the lack of) against spin, I wonder how he managed to make that 80 against Swann in Trent Bridge. 0,1, and 1 is the norm. 80 was the exception.

    Still, good player against pace though. You don't get twin hundreds against Steyn and co. if you are not a really good player. However, Flintoff exposed his weaknesses in 2009. Since then, he has improved against pace but has been vulnerable against spin.

  • Barnesy4444 on August 16, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    Any cricket coach will tell you the three most important things when batting are: 1) Watch the ball. 2) Keep your head still. 3) Concentrate. Phil Hughes has all three of these in spades. Yet people say his technique is terrible? These are the same people singing the praises of Simon Katich!

    Stop trying to stuff around with his "technique", just let Hughes bat, then sit back and watch the runs flow.

  • DragonCricketer on August 16, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    @Steve Back. Of course The Don is twice as good as everyone else and I said that a bit tongue in cheek. But I have heard that his technique was different, The way he held the bat, turned to leg more than usual. He favoured leg and when interviewed when he was about 86 he said that this was probably the reason he was rarely caught in the slips.

  • on August 16, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    @Chris_P: Relax, Chris, I was only joking and being facetious. However, you cannot compare Phil Hughes' technique to those of Chanderpaul and Katich. That just doesn't make sense. They are completely different and the other two are far more inventive and effective. I've seen a lot of Hughes and I just think Australia will have better batsmen around somewhere. There must be a reason why he struggles to rotate the strike against spin bowling, and how open his stance is on the off-side; this has often prevented him from being able to clip the ball on to the leg-side confidently. It's as if his scoring area is severely limited by the position of his pads.

  • on August 16, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    @DragonCricketer: Are you for real? You're saying Don Bradman didn't have a good technique?! Do you know anything about cricket? Have you watched any footage of him? His technique was the most effective in history! The way he maximised his use of the crease, getting deep into it when pulling the ball, the power he achieved in his cover drive could not have been replicated by anyone else's technique. Phil Hughes can do little of this - he is too open on the off-side, which makes him struggle to clip the ball of his pads. Bradman would laugh at this.

  • SpadeaSpade on August 16, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Bout time people started to back our young players instead of trying to bring them down. The difference in the ashes test thus far has no doubt been the inability to build middle order partnerships. But I also expect people to accept that our young players are facing a seasoned test bowling attack and provided we remain patient and don,t throw the baby out with the bath water, these guys will learn immensly from this tour and be far better players for it. All those bagging Hughes, khawaja should take a step back and realise there attitude would have ensured one Stephen Waugh would not have gone on to become one of Australia,s immortals. He showed talent as well but using the same yard stick would have ceased to play more the 20 tests. It's disappointing to lose if not gut wrenching for the enthusiats. But losing builds hunger and determination so get behind the team and insist they fight and be patient. The poms are not that far ahead. Lets get em in the 5th test GO BOYS

  • dashe on August 16, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    Averaging 32 over 30 tests including 2 hundreds in 1 match. Take that 1 Test out and he averages high 20's. Walking wicket IMO should not play test cricket for a few years at least.

  • DragonCricketer on August 16, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    Hey Steve Back, You don't need a good technique. Don Bradman didnt have a good technique and Philip Hughes is supposed to be the next Bradman. Also David Hookes had bad footwork but a great eye and timing. Something that Hughes has. Hyclass - Yes I agree with all you said.

    What about dropping Haddin, letting Hughes keep and throwing in another batsmen. Don Bradman couldn't keep ha ha ha

    Phillip Hughes for Australian Captain and then Prime Minister

  • Wefinishthis on August 16, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    hyclass - spot on. Hughes did brilliantly for a youngster, but when he was dropped by that awful selection panel after that test in the ashes, it ruined him. They said he had a weakness against the short ball. Really? How was Dale Steyn and South Africa not able to exploit that? Since then he had to change his technique and now's he's become the C.Guptill/B.Martin whipping boy. Either way, this 5th test is dead rubber. There's no point risking injury to Aus's only two world-class players, especially since we'll likely lose anyway. I'd rest Harris and Clarke, drop Haddin and bring in Hughes, Wade and Starc/Faulkner. If Watson or Khawaja fail again, I'd drop them back to shield for a very long time and make them earn their way back in to the side. Maddinson and Silk deserve better. Warner, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Smith, Watson, Wade, Starc, Siddle, Lyon, Bird. Use these results to help decide who plays in the first test in Australia.

  • on August 16, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    Shane-oh: I will say that Hughes has been better than Khawaja but that is not saying much. Both of them do not inspire any confidence when they bat and look likely to get out any minute. It is just shocking to see that this is the best that Australia have to offer and this after more than a decade of batting excellence which saw the likes of Hodge, David Hussey and even Michael Hussey get limited chances at the top.

  • on August 16, 2013, 1:35 GMT

    This situation was created by selectors starting with Warne not being picked as Captain, the dropping of hughes for Watson, the non renewal contract of Katich and finally the installation of Mickey Arthur as coach. The team should be Katich,Warner, Hughes, Rogers, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey, Haddin, O'keefe/ Hauritz, Starc, Siddle, Harris. Ponting and Hussey would not of retired if the team culture was it so shithouse. Hughes and Warner are young guys expected to be leaders in this team!!! They have a lot to learn and would've learned a lot faster if the older guys were still there.

  • Someguy on August 16, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    @Raj Sundararaman - That's not even close to what he said. I really feel for him, gets a big innings and everyone says how great he is, then he has a couple of bad ones and gets dropped. He has never had a chance to settle and get comfortable in the side.

    For some reason Watson is a protected species, doesn't matter how many bad innings in a row he has, or how many innings he goes without taking a wicket (if he can even bowl, because of his injuries), he doesn't get dropped.

    Yet Hughes, who has a comparable batting average, is a lot younger, has a lot more potential for improvement, has never been given a consistent go in the team. He's been in and out of the team, and more recently up and down the order like a yo-yo, and yet he still has more 100's than Watson in half as many innings.

    Who cares if Watson can get to 20-30 every innings. He never has and never will, win a match with the bat until he learns how to convert his starts. Not good enough for a top order bat.

  • Chris_P on August 16, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    @Steve Back "He needs to develop a decent technique"? You mean the one where he scored a century in each innings against Steyn & Co, a feat not matched by anyone since, wasn't good enough. The one he used in his first 4 seasons of FC cricket where he averaged over 50? Interesting. Yes, then someone decided to develop him to make him look better & turned him onto the uncertain player he is now. Best go tell Chanderpaul & Katich the same thing too, terrible technique they have, isn't? I would suggest you don't average 50+ in an Australian first class season (last season) without a solid technique, but then again, what would I know, form & performances at first class level show nothing, do they?

  • on August 16, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    His only real problem at the moment is quality spin. Maybe its time the aussie team get in a quality spin bowling coach for offspinners. Like Saqlain and get hughes some real practice starting to spin. Maybe in practice he should just start against lyon evertime. I think we miss a trick in getting shane warne to help our spinners as he really cant help an offspinner except with a bit of tactics. A quality offspinner with good change up balls needs to work with lyon and our batsmen and help them deal with quality spin. Hughes is a great player with a few chinks in his armour. Time to hire the help to get rid of them.

  • Barnesy4444 on August 16, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    Hyclass is 100% correct. In the last 20 years the only really young bats coming into the test team have been Ponting and Clarke. We've forgotten how to groom them. As a 20 year old Hughes scored 6 Shield centuries and the selectors forced Hayden to retire so Hughes could play tests. He smashed Steyn and co all over the park.

    Leading into the 2009 Ashes there was outcry from the Poms not wanting a county team to give Hughes a game so he couldn't get used to English conditions! He went and scored over 500 runs in 3 county games. After only two low test scores, that's right two, he was dropped and told to change the way he bats. What a joke. He was not "found out".

    He still has a fantastic eye. His hands are still fast. He just wants to play test cricket but the selectors don't know what they expect from him.

  • Ozcricketwriter on August 15, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    Go back to training, get yourself a really good coach, completely change your technique from the ground up, practice against some quality bowling to see if your technique stands firm, practice against some of the bowlers that got you out cheaply when your technique still stank, then and only then should you give yourself a chance of playing test cricket again. Runs at FC level are irrelevant if your technique means you stink in tests.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 15, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    @hyclass Hughes is not the first player to struggle after a bright start. And he doesn't compare with Ponting. Against England he averages 19.75 after 7 tests.

  • ultimatecricketguru on August 15, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Australia have to show some trust in its players. They have been making pathetic team selections for past 2 years. Huges is a victim of this unwanted team changes. The same goes for nathan lyon this series. Droping your premier spinner for a rookie spinner ashton agar is kinda stupid decision.

  • Amith_S on August 15, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    Hughe failed against Martin then against Ashwin, i hope he comes through but i am not positive. Agree with Sunil on that Warner, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke are our best top 4 for the near future

  • arunsahu on August 15, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    Same story as it is for suresh raina for India in as far as test matches concen

  • Sunil_Batra on August 15, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Hughes is a good player but he should either come in at opener once Rogers retire or at 6, at present i like Rogers, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke as our top 4

  • cricketfanwrites on August 15, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    Every young talented cricketer 'needs a good run' (extended one) to prove that they belong at the test level. Unfortunately for this Australian side, CA cannot afford to give them that and continue to watch their side chalk up the Losses. CA has a conundrum on their hands. What if CA plays Hughes for Khawaja and he fails in the last test? Or retains Khawaja and he makes runs. You can find out both. Sit Smith. He is a short format player and a work in progress at the test level CA needs to have a committed approach from their academy concerning core players and fill the teams' remaining spots with inform players. Rebuilding and Australian cricket should never be thought of in the same line.

  • luks on August 15, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    So, it really doesn't seem to be a problem to him or the selectors that he was totally found out in India. Leave alone bad form, he didn't have the technique. Surely, diagnosis of whether its form or technique is not that hard in this case?

  • shane-oh on August 15, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    @Raj Sundararaman - that's an interesting interpretation of what he said. I, for one, interpreted it the opposite way. I think he is saying that he feels as though he has to score runs every time he bats or will be dropped.

  • on August 15, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Before Hughes achieves his stated aim of finding form in each innings, first he needs to develop a decent technique. Perhaps take some advice from Chris Martin.

  • on August 15, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    Seems like if Phillips has his way, he would be contented to score once in 4-5 innings and then be a walking wicket for the rest. If he is serious about cricket, he should let the bat do the talking instead of going to the press every now and then.

  • hyclass on August 15, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    Sometimes I feel like yelling,'Wake up!' You have your cause & effect backwards.When Hughes came on the scene, right up to the time he joined the Ashes squad in '09, he was a prodigy of the ilk of a Ponting.He was effective because he was unorthodox.Orthodoxy has stolen it, not freed it.A Steve Waugh Medal, Bradman medal, Shield Player of the Year & 100's in Shield Finals & the youngest player to score 2 x 100's in the same Tests. He did it against a then 1100+ Test wicket attack of Steyn,Morkel, Ntini, Kallis and Harris on their turf.No trouble with pace,bounce, swing or spin.The Eng attack paled in comparison. The idea that he was,'found out' is beyond stupidity.His 115 & 160 highlights v SA are on Youtube. 1637 runs at 96 in 10 matches on 3 continents, right up to him joining the Ashes squad. Then he suddenly cant play? Ridiculous! His game plan, execution, grip, stance, trigger movement etc were all different. His mentor DeCosta said he was forced to change on joining the squad.

  • milepost on August 15, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Fair call @ollie99. The guys could do with an extended run but I think Lehmann will be particularly brutal on how they lose their wickets. Getting a jaffa with your name on it is very different to nicking off whilst wildly driving at a seaming or swinging ball. Lehmann has mentioned good balls and self destructive shots in his interviews quite a bit. I think he will pick the guys that 'learn' and who dont miss straight ones as he keeps also saying. I don't think it would be a surprise to anyone if the Aussies won a test and that's very different to perceptions before the series started. Learning how to play Swann wouldn't hurt either!

  • ollie99 on August 15, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Interesting difference between Hughes' personal opinion of his form and the outward appearance of his form - "I feel my game is in a really good place". Not only did he score 2 runs in three innings, but it is obvious from his performances in India and England that a) he appears hesitant against good pace, and b) he has no clue how to play good spin.

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  • ollie99 on August 15, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Interesting difference between Hughes' personal opinion of his form and the outward appearance of his form - "I feel my game is in a really good place". Not only did he score 2 runs in three innings, but it is obvious from his performances in India and England that a) he appears hesitant against good pace, and b) he has no clue how to play good spin.

  • milepost on August 15, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Fair call @ollie99. The guys could do with an extended run but I think Lehmann will be particularly brutal on how they lose their wickets. Getting a jaffa with your name on it is very different to nicking off whilst wildly driving at a seaming or swinging ball. Lehmann has mentioned good balls and self destructive shots in his interviews quite a bit. I think he will pick the guys that 'learn' and who dont miss straight ones as he keeps also saying. I don't think it would be a surprise to anyone if the Aussies won a test and that's very different to perceptions before the series started. Learning how to play Swann wouldn't hurt either!

  • hyclass on August 15, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    Sometimes I feel like yelling,'Wake up!' You have your cause & effect backwards.When Hughes came on the scene, right up to the time he joined the Ashes squad in '09, he was a prodigy of the ilk of a Ponting.He was effective because he was unorthodox.Orthodoxy has stolen it, not freed it.A Steve Waugh Medal, Bradman medal, Shield Player of the Year & 100's in Shield Finals & the youngest player to score 2 x 100's in the same Tests. He did it against a then 1100+ Test wicket attack of Steyn,Morkel, Ntini, Kallis and Harris on their turf.No trouble with pace,bounce, swing or spin.The Eng attack paled in comparison. The idea that he was,'found out' is beyond stupidity.His 115 & 160 highlights v SA are on Youtube. 1637 runs at 96 in 10 matches on 3 continents, right up to him joining the Ashes squad. Then he suddenly cant play? Ridiculous! His game plan, execution, grip, stance, trigger movement etc were all different. His mentor DeCosta said he was forced to change on joining the squad.

  • on August 15, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    Seems like if Phillips has his way, he would be contented to score once in 4-5 innings and then be a walking wicket for the rest. If he is serious about cricket, he should let the bat do the talking instead of going to the press every now and then.

  • on August 15, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Before Hughes achieves his stated aim of finding form in each innings, first he needs to develop a decent technique. Perhaps take some advice from Chris Martin.

  • shane-oh on August 15, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    @Raj Sundararaman - that's an interesting interpretation of what he said. I, for one, interpreted it the opposite way. I think he is saying that he feels as though he has to score runs every time he bats or will be dropped.

  • luks on August 15, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    So, it really doesn't seem to be a problem to him or the selectors that he was totally found out in India. Leave alone bad form, he didn't have the technique. Surely, diagnosis of whether its form or technique is not that hard in this case?

  • cricketfanwrites on August 15, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    Every young talented cricketer 'needs a good run' (extended one) to prove that they belong at the test level. Unfortunately for this Australian side, CA cannot afford to give them that and continue to watch their side chalk up the Losses. CA has a conundrum on their hands. What if CA plays Hughes for Khawaja and he fails in the last test? Or retains Khawaja and he makes runs. You can find out both. Sit Smith. He is a short format player and a work in progress at the test level CA needs to have a committed approach from their academy concerning core players and fill the teams' remaining spots with inform players. Rebuilding and Australian cricket should never be thought of in the same line.

  • Sunil_Batra on August 15, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Hughes is a good player but he should either come in at opener once Rogers retire or at 6, at present i like Rogers, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke as our top 4

  • arunsahu on August 15, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    Same story as it is for suresh raina for India in as far as test matches concen