Advertisement

Advertisement

Phil Hughes


Hughes would love No. 3 spot

Phil Hughes has put his hand up for another shot at the No.3 batting spot in the Australian Test team.

No batsman has made a century coming in at No.3 in 48 innings since Shaun Marsh scored 141 in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in 2011.

QUICK SINGLE: Watson to captain in tour game

In the past three years Australia have burned through nine candidates in the crucial first drop position and they're yet to settle.

Marsh is set to come back into contention for the home Ashes series after being recalled to international cricket with the one-day team.

Out of the nine No.3s to have had their crack, Hughes boasts the best record, averaging 37.20 in the position from seven matches.

The incumbent Usman Khawaja averages a lowly 23.54 from six Tests and appears to be in the firing line for the fifth Ashes Test at the Oval unless he can produce a big score in Australia's two-day match against the England Lions starting on Friday in Northampton.

Hughes will also have his chance to impress in the tour match and although he'd be happy to be picked anywhere in the Test batting line-up, he'd relish a return to No.3.

"A lot of people have had a go at it over the last couple of years," Hughes said.

"I'd love another go. Anyone would. I suppose the Australian summer I came in and slotted into No.3 in the Test match form and the one-day form and I enjoyed that.

"But as I said it doesn't matter. Usman is there now and I'm sure he'll do a good job there. And that's just how it is.

"Hopefully one day, sooner rather than later I'll get another crack."

Hughes was dropped for the third Test at Old Trafford, after one and one in his two innings at Lord's.

It was a rapid fall for the left-hander, who believes he played one of his best ever Test knocks in the first Test at Trent Bridge when he scored a mature 81 not out in a big 168-run stand with No.11 batsman Ashton Agar.

Despite topping the first-class tour averages with 62.28, and with five half-centuries, Hughes was the first to feel the axe after the 128-all out batting collapse at Lord's.

Hughes has been dropped from the team most notably during the 2009 Ashes and after a home series against New Zealand in 2011.

The 24-year-old says his latest demotion has been easier to take.

"It's never easy to be dropped. But I feel that one (after New Zealand) was tougher than this one," he said.

"It's not something I'm overly concerned about. I feel like I'm in a really good place.

"I feel like my confidence isn't shot at all."

Hughes said he received good feedback on his latest dropping from selector Rod Marsh and has also been seeking advice from mentor and former Australian batting coach Justin Langer.

Top Stories

Josh Hazlewood // Getty Images


Clarke, Harris cloud Test squad


Clarke's club side declares at 0-17


Haddin hits new milestone in recovery


Cummins eyes late show for World Cup