Home > Features >

Phil Hughes croses first hurdle, time to pile on runs at international level

Phillip-Hughes-of-Australia-celebrates-after-scoring-his-century-during-game-five-of-the-Commonwe
Phil Hughes scored a double hundred in a List A match recently © Getty Images

The Australian selectors will heave a sigh of relief as the best performer in recent months Phil Hughes finally gets to make it to the national side at the expense of Shane Watson. Abhijit Banare analyses what the return means to the left-hander.

Two days ago, an agitated Philip Hughes had to be convinced by Australia’s national selector Rod Marsh explaining the reason for being left out from the Zimbabwe tour. Steven Smith was preferred over Hughes in the 14-member squad. With two fifties and two unbeaten tons (one of which was a record double century), Hughes, as many would say had forced his way in to the national side. But as fate had in store, days after his disappointment over the exclusion, Shane Watson’s injury provided little window of opportunity for the left-hander.

The four matches in Zimbabwe is all Hughes has to impress the selectors if he has to secure another against Pakistan in UAE. Though he has crossed the first hurdle of making a comeback, he has to pile on runs like he did in the Quadrangular series to retain his place when David Warner and Shane Watson both come back in to the side with Aaron Finch already doing well at the top.

Going by his failures in Tests and success in limited overs, the 50-over format could be the best chance for Hughes to fight his way to bag a regular spot in the team.

Hughes a long-term prospect? Seldom do Australian players get a second chance and are persisted with. But Hughes has been in and out of the team for a while now, excluded thrice from the team. He is very well aware of what is needed to succeed at this level and the taste of failures and forced exclusion would’ve changed him in to a much more mature player. He has already developed in to a solid limited overs player.

If Hughes does manage to impress in the limited overs, it would be an uphill task to cement his place in the Tests. Having been found out technically on previous occasions, there will some apprehensions in the near future regarding his ability in the longest format. With a settled opening pair in David Warner and Chris Rogers, there’s little scope for him to find a spot there soon. At 25, Hughes can still afford to keep piling on runs and wait for his opportunity. Apart from that, he will be frantically hoping that the selectors give him due regard for his runs in domestic level.

And there are few better endorsements than from the captain of the team. When Michael Clarke states Hughes as a ‘100-Test’ player, it’s an indication that Hughes is well in contention for the long run. For  it to materialise, Hughes will have to do what most domestic Indian batsmen have to do to guarantee a place in the national side — pile on runs in 50s and 100s.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

ICC World Cup 2015: England announce 15-man squad

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Live Cricket Score India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: Australia win by 4 wickets, take 2-0 lead in the series

Anil Kumble Australia India Moments in history Ricky Ponting South Africa

Jason Holder congratulated by Darren Sammy on earning West Indies ODI captaincy

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India were distracted by practice pitches and food, claims local media

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2014-15: Brendon McCullum returns as middle-order batsman

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Leon Johnson urges Windies batsmen to perform better

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: MS Dhoni says there was miscommunication regarding Shikhar Dhawan’s injury

Batsman given hit wicket after mobile phone falls on stumps

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Highlights

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Marks out of 10 for the hosts

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here