Recalled Australian Hughes confident of Test runs
SYDNEY (AFP) –
Australian batsman Phil Hughes said he has put his disappointing last Test performance behind him and is confident a year of work will pay off when he takes on Sri Lanka this week.
Hughes returns to the Test arena at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval, where he played his last Test in December 2011 and scored just 24 runs in two innings against New Zealand.
“This is the ground where things probably didn’t pan out perfectly on a personal note,” he told journalists in Hobart.
“Twelve months down the track, I feel like I’m in a better place now.”
Hughes, who turned 24 last month, was last week handed a second chance in the Australian team after veteran Ricky Ponting retired.
He has been in solid form in domestic cricket and appears to have satisfied selectors that he has overcome technical issues which made him vulnerable to the rising ball and led to his axing in the past.
“I feel like I’ve done a lot of work,” said Hughes, who has 17 Tests to his name.
“I knew I had to make sacrifices along the way and that was definitely one, to pull out of the Twenty20 comp last year, to work on my technique and become a better player.”
Hughes, who is expected to come in at number three when the Test begins on Friday, said his playing style had developed in the year which has also involved a stint in English county cricket with Worcestershire.
“I feel now I’ve got both sides of the field covered and that’s something I had to go away and work on,” he said.
“The leg-side play was something big in my mind that I had to focus on.
“I’m free-flowing now. It’s easier when they do bowl straighter that I can work off my hip and off to the leg side.”
Australia embark on a three-Test series against Sri Lanka Friday. They also play five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches.