Oz opener Hughes told to tighten technique if he wants to retain spot

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian opener Phil Hughes has been warned that his technique must keep getting tighter or he will be “left behind” as an international batsman.

With Simon Katich still nursing an Achilles injury, Hughes has the chance to establish himself as a Test batsman for the first time since being dropped on last year’s Ashes tour.

His two forays at the WACA Ground were far from promising.

A barnstorming first Test series in South Africa early in 2009 is receding further and further into the past and Australian coach Tim Nielsen pointed out that beginner’s luck played a significant role for Hughes in that series.

“Always when you start playing Test cricket, you come in and nobody really knows anything about you, you’ve got a little window where you’re almost a novelty and that can mean some success,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Nielsen, as telling AAP.

“He can’t expect to just be the player he was then and have success now because the rest of the game keeps moving forward, so if he doesn’t he’ll get left behind,” Nielsen added.

Nielsen stressed Hughes needed to think calmly about his batting and getaway from the panic-inducing notion that each innings might be his last.

“Even if you’re only 21 you can get anxious thinking ‘if I don’t get runs here I’m going to be back on my backside again playing for NSW’,” Nielsen said.

“His game is developing all the time, the one difference from the past is this time he hasn’t had a mountain of runs at domestic level coming into his Test matches here, so the big challenge is for him is not to panic or think every day is his last,” Nielsen said. (ANI)

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