Senior batsman Mike Hussey yesterday urged besieged opener Phillip Hughes to back his natural game after being retained in Australia's Test squad. Despite failing with just 10 and seven runs in the first Gabba Test, Hughes looks set to get another chance in the second Test against New Zealand, starting on Friday in Hobart. Australia's selection panel yesterday made just one injury-enforced change to their 12-man squad from the first Test with the inclusion of Dan Christian.
Phillip Hughes walks off after been dismissed by NZ at the Gabba in Brisbane on Sunday. Pic/AFP
Christian replaces 12th man Ben Cutting (side strain) which means a batsman would make way if the South Australian allrounder was chosen to make his Test debut. Hughes has passed 36 just twice in his past 17 Test innings and with all-rounder Shane Watson (hamstring) and Shaun Marsh (back) on track to return from injuries in the Boxing Day Test against India, the opener's Test position appears vulnerable.
But Hussey said he doesn't believe the 23-year-old opener should be singled out for continuing an unhappy knack of falling to catches behind the wicket. "I just think it's important for him to keep a real clear mind and to keep playing his way," Hussey told reporters.
"He's had success playing his way. He's still put together some really good scores for us in difficult conditions in Sri Lanka (126) and South Africa (88). "He works extremely hard and he knows the areas he needs to work on. Obviously, he'd want to get some more consistent scores but it is tough work against the new ball opening the batting."