Michael Clarke (left) heaped praise on Phil Hughes for his consistent performances in the recent quadrangular series © Getty Images
Michael Clarke (left) heaped praise on Phil Hughes for his consistent performances in the recent quadrangular series © Getty Images

 

Aug 3, 2014

 

Australia captain Michael Clarke has expressed his support for in-form Australia A batsman Phil Hughes, who shone with the bat in the recently concluded Quadrangular series.

 

Hughes was one of the highlights of the series in which he scored 332 runs for in four innings at a remarkable average of 110.66, including a whirlwind unbeaten innings of 202 against South Africa A. He also hit 51 against India A in the tournament final, which was won by the visitors by four wickets.

 

“As per usual, he is flying. I was extremely pleased for him. He’s had a tough week, he lost his grandfather recently, and he would have been emotional the other day,” Clarke was quoted as saying to News Corp Australia.

 

Hughes, who averaged over 54 in the last Bupa Sheffield Shield season, is yet to cement a regular spot in the national Test side. He has played 26 Tests so far in a career which began in 2009 against South Africa.

 

Clarke expressed faith in Hughes ability to succeed in all formats of the game at the international level, but at the same time stressed aspects such as mental toughness and non-cricketing obligations as something the cricketers today must deal with at this level.

 

“I believe the playing part of international cricket is about 40 per cent of what goes into it these days. He’s an amazing batsman, he continues to show that, and he’s got to be at the front of the selectors’ minds for all forms of the game,” said Clarke.

 

The Australian captain also acknowledged losing the No 1 position in Tests to South Africa. “We always knew that when we became No.1 it was so close and that there was an ­opportunity that, when South Africa played and if they won, it could go back to them,” he said.