Kumar Sangakkara taunts Phil Hughes ahead of first Test at Hobart

Australian batsman Phil Hughes was criticised in the past for poking catches to the slips cordon and was dropped from the side at Hobart a year ago © AFP

Hobart: Dec 12, 2012

Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara warned Australia’s comeback man Phil Hughes that despite changes in his technique, he is only one ball away from a cheap dismissal.

The 24-year-old Australian, who played 17 Tests for Australia, has been recalled for the Sri Lankan series after being dropped a year ago. He is likely to fit into the No.3 spot instead of opening the innings.
Hughes was severely criticised in the past for edging deliveries to the slip cordon but has averaged more than 50 in this year’s Sheffield Shield with his new side South Australia.

“It’s a great feeling. I’m really excited about it,” Hughes said, according to AAP reports published in The New Zealand Herald

“Twelve months down the track, I feel like I’m in a better place now.”

The pull shot is the big weapon for Hughes these days, after relying heavily on the square-drive and cut in the past.

“It is a lot different. Probably 70 to 80 per cent of my scoring options were on the off side,” Hughes said.

“I feel now I’ve got both sides of the field covered and that’s something I had to go away and work on.
Sangakkara, who needs 107 runs in the Hobart match to become the 11th member of the 10,000-run club, says Hughes has certainly made a big impression at domestic level this summer.

“Well, I think batsmen evolve and performance necessitates that they do evolve or change or do some tweaking to their technique if it’s causing them a problem,” Sangakkara said.

“Phil has scored a lot of runs this season. He’s averaging in the fifties for the season so it shows he is in good form.

“But a good ball is a good ball to anyone. Again, when we bowl at batsmen, it’s all about trying to build up pressure consistently by bowling in good areas.

“So it will be an interesting battle.”