Australia in SA

Hughes relishes Proteas test

2014-02-07 19:25
Phil Hughes (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Recalled Australian batsman Phil Hughes is pleased to be back in the squad, even if he does not play in the upcoming Test series against hosts South Africa starting next week.

"I'm just happy to be in the squad," Hughes said on Friday at the Wanderers,where his team is playing a practice game.

"I'm not sure what they [the selectors] will do, whether I will play or not."

Hughes was a late call-up to the Aussie squad after Shaun Marsh was unable to recover from a calf strain.

The 25-year-old made his debut for Australia in 2009 on their tour to South Africa. In the second Test in Durban, Hughes became the youngest batsman to score a century in each innings of a Test. Since then he has been dropped twice from the side, and says he is prepared to fill any role in the Australian team.

"The boys have played outstandingly in the last few months and to be back in here is great. If I play or I don't play, to be here to help out the boys is a good thing."

The left-handed opener, however, will more than likely come in down the order at around number seven. No matter where he bats, Hughes is determined to nail down his spot in the Australian team.

"I feel like I've improved. My defence has tightened up since my debut [in 2009]. I feel like I'm a different player, and definitely better than I was five years ago."

Australia were playing the two-day practice game at an empty Bullring, comprised only of the 15 squad members. Though players were rotated through the day, it was important to spend time in the middle, Hughes said.

"It was different, I don't mind. It's just a nice opportunity to play in the middle. Early on today I took a fair few balls to get going. I really wanted to get the pace of the wicket, later on when I faced more balls I started playing my shots."


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