Australian captain Michael Clarke seems a tad unhappy that Twenty20 cricket is used to regain form to play Test cricket.
Though the shortest form of the game has unearthed three players for long futures in the Australian Test team, Clarke could barely conceal his displeasure at the possibility of seeing out-of-form opener Phillip Hughes being sent back to play Twenty20 in a bid to refine his unorthodox technique so that it can withstand the rigours of the Test arena.
"We go back and play Twenty20 cricket. So, if that's the case for people who get dropped from this team, they're going to have to go back to Twenty20 and score some runs," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Clarke, as saying.
He added: "I'm not sure how it's going to work, but you're going to have to be picked back into the Australian team from the Big Bash. We'll wait and see what happens."
Hughes' situation underscores the dilemma facing Cricket Australia, which is desperate to broaden the sport's appeal to the public without jeopardizing the needs of the Test team or the sanctity of the most traditional form of the game.
Clarke's comments come just days after it was revealed Test aspirant Ed Cowan may not get the chance to play in a tour game against India due to his Big Bash commitments with the Sydney Sixers.
Interestingly, Hughes, by signing with Sydney Thunder, has given himself a chance to retain his Test position with a strong innings in the December 19-21 Chairman's XI game, which does not clash with his BBL duties.
"My opinion is not going to change anything. Like I've said to a number of people it's about scoring runs in any form of the game you play," Clarke said.
"If it's Twenty20, score runs. If it's one-dayers, score runs and just continue to get your name, push your name up in front of the selectors eyes to get selected for any form of the game," he added.
Cricket Australia, however, will point to David Warner's success as proof of the Twenty20 format's ability to discover players capable of playing Test cricket.
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