Young Phil Hughes will know exactly what to expect when he walks out to open the batting for Australia this week in Perth. England will be convinced they have Hughes’ card marked when it comes to his weakness against a spicy short ball or two. The 22 year old has been recalled by the Test side following Simon Katich’s Achilles injury ruled him out for the remainder of the series.
Those Hughes will be desperate to put his disastrous first taste of Ashes cricket firmly in the past. In his three innings at the start of the 2009 series loss in England, Hughes scored a meagre 57 and exposed a glaring fault in his game against the short ball. Freddie Flintoff took advantage of the opener’s weakness and dismissed Hughes twice with similar deliveries.
It’s fairly certain according to those that like to bet on cricket match outcomes England will adopt a similar tactic at the WACA this week but Hughes insists he’s ready for whatever the Poms throw at him.
“They are going to come out firing against me. But I'm ready for it; I'm ready for anything they throw at me, and I can't wait for it.”
England shouldn’t underestimate Hughes though, who at the tender age of 22, has already notched up two 50s and two centuries in his seven Tests, at an average of 51.
Those who like to study the odds cricket wise note that he left-hander already has some recent success against England this summer to take confidence from, hitting a second innings 81 for Australia’s A side in Hobart, albeit facing a second string English bowling line-up.
The talented youngster clearly has the ability to silence his critics and Hughes will be determined to do just that in Perth this week.