Hughes brushes off second snub
Phillip Hughes is refusing to feel like the outsider in Australia’s Ashes campaign despite suffering a second snub of the tour.
Opening batsman Hughes, 20, was ditched after just two Tests of the npower campaign, currently locked at 1-1, and was today overlooked for the one-day and Twenty20 series which follow.
Shane Watson has excelled with three half-centuries since displacing Hughes at the top of the Australian order.
But Hughes, who famously announced his omission on Twitter, said: “You look back and to be dropped after five Tests is very disappointing but that is what has happened and what was best for the side.
“I am happy to be where I am: 20 years old and in an Ashes series.
“I am not thinking my tour is over, I am going to go into every game, and training session, preparing as though I am going to play. Because you just never know what could happen.”
Left-hander Hughes arrived here with a reputation for a swashbuckling style but his attacking prowess has been passed over for the seven one-dayers and two Twenty20 matches against England.
“From a personal point of view, I love playing all three forms of the game,” Hughes reflected. “I love it all.
“I will go back to New South Wales and work hard on my game. I like listening to ex-players, players in the side now and coaching staff.
“But it is really up to you to work out your game plans. It is up to you to chose what you want to do. I just want to keep improving my game.”
Long-established openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden have offered advice to their successor, who began his international career in stunning style in South Africa earlier this year.
“Personally they have been great to me, I will continue to speak to them, they have said a few things on keeping focus,” Hughes revealed.
“They have told me there are tough times around the corner, that this might just be one, and there could be many more to come.
“It is all ups and downs in this great game that we play.”
Susceptibility to the short ball was seized upon by England’s attack and the pressure of an Ashes battle also seemed to get to Hughes.
However, he insisted: “Pressure is a word but what I want to do is play cricket for Australia.
“Going into South Africa, there was pressure there and you are in front of everyone’s eyes at this level.
“But with an Ashes series there is a lot of talk, the media gets a hold of it and the whole world is watching.”
England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff represented a step up in class for Hughes, however, during the early exchanges.
“He has bowled beautifully throughout the whole series and personally I felt he bowled really well,” Hughes said. “He is one of the best bowlers, if not the best, I have faced.
“South Africa come at you hard and bowl well as a unit but he is a great bowler.”