x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Phil Hughes is more relaxed on Australia Test comeback

The left-handed batsman is set to replace the retired Ricky Ponting for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.

Phil Hughes, in action for Australlia last year, will be calmer when he faces Sri Lanka this month.
Phil Hughes, in action for Australlia last year, will be calmer when he faces Sri Lanka this month.

Phil Hughes is confident he can make a better impression in his latest chance in Test cricket.

The 24-year-old Australian was recalled for the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart, which starts on Friday, in place of the retired Ricky Ponting, and will look to improve on an average of 34.58.

His 32 Test innings to date have brought only three fifties and three hundreds, but Hughes has been in sparkling touch this summer, averaging 51.8 in the Sheffield Shield and 80.75 in one-dayers for his adopted state South Australia.

"The confidence is quite high at the moment," Hughes said. "It's nice getting runs behind you. Hopefully I can start off well in the first Test against Sri Lanka. I'm really excited about it. I can't wait to get in camp with the boys. Having that experience behind me, I'm a bit more relaxed about going into camp because I've been in that environment before."

Hughes's batting mentor, Neil D'Costa, said Hughes was a much-improved player, having worked on his technique when he was dropped after Australia's drawn Test series with New Zealand 12 months ago.

"Based on 10 to 15 Tests a year, I don't see any reason why Phil Hughes won't be a 10,000-run player for Australia," said D'Costa, who helped Australia captain Michael Clarke work through a slump after the home Ashes series loss in 2010/11.

"The guy has just turned 24 and has 20 first-class centuries. How many other blokes his age in the game today can match that?"

* Press Association