Defiant Phillip Hughes is cricket’s version of a boomerang.
He keeps coming back.
The plucky 24-year-old left-handed batsman is ready for Test chance No.3. Ironically, he will bat N0.3 in the line-up against Sri lanka when the Test starts today, Friday, in Hobart, 11am.
Ironically, it was in Hobart last year in the Test the Aussies lost to New Zealand, which was the last time Hughes played for his country.
Hughes has always had ability. There has never been any question about that.
The boy can play. I have been a longtime fan of his style and approach since he debuted.
for NSW then Australia.
His stance and the way he raised the bat and pointing it towards gully and point did concern some of the batting coaches in the land.
But most times his method worked, as he scored the majority of his runs on the off-side and was okay through the leg side.
Hughes has since worked hard in the last year to improve his scoring zones on the leg side.
Strangely enough, most left handers are strong off their hips, pads and legs, and tend to score heavily on the leg side and are also efficient run-getters on the off-side.
Hughes has shown this summer in his new state team, South Australia in Sheffield Shield and one day level he has all shots all around the wicket.
What Hughes has to do is be patient, trust his judgment and stick to his approach and not deviate and not listen to everyone with an opinion.
I believe some of Hughes’ problems were from getting too much advice that cluttered his head and he felt rigid when batting at the crease last summer and was doubting himself a little.
Former Australian captain Steve Waugh worked on the theory that he batted the way he felt most comfortable and this worked for him.
Waugh got dropped early in his career then returned a mass run scorer with a flint-hard edge mentally and technique that suited him. He didn’t worry too much about the text book of batting but the mantra of Steve Waugh
Australian skipper Michael Clarke also got dropped because in his Test career as his main problem was he was very loose outside off stump and was caught in slips a lot.
Since he returned, Clarke plays straighter and with a full face of the bat and backs his shot range and selection. He also sticks with a simple plan of leaving the wide deliveries, hitting the loose ball and defended the good ones.
All of us in life have a bad trot at times and strike hurdles.
The trick is don’t get flustered, back your judgment, do what works for you and trust yourself and your instincts.
Phil Hughes averages 37 at Test level, 45 in the first class arena and he has scored 20 first class centuries, a pretty strike rate by age 24.
The boy who grew up in Macksville on a banana farm is now ripe for a healthy Test career at his third opportunity.
Eventually, I think Hughes will settle into as a Test opener and Michael Clarke will be batting No.3, by the time of the 2013 Ashes Tour of England at No.3.
But for now, it’s good to see Phillip Hughes back. He has handled his Test exile with maturity and is ready again.
It just goes to show what having a positive attitude can do for you. Instead of sulking, learn from life’s hurdles and tough times and be prepared to take up the challenge because evetually your luck will turn.