Phillip Hughes `mentally` frustrated at `musical chair` repositioning in Oz top order
Sydney: Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes has admitted that his constant repositioning in the team is `mentally frustrating` for him even as he valiantly sought to cling on to a place in next week`s third Ashes Test at Old Trafford.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Hughes, returning to his former calling as an opener in a team missing its captain among half a dozen rested players, scored 84 on the first day of the Australians` three-day match against Sussex.
Although the report mentioned that it was Hughes` fifth half-century of the tour, however, it added that his spot in the Test line-up is once again far from certain given that the forgiven David Warner will soon rejoin the Ashes squad back from South Africa, destined for the middle order, with a score of 193 under his belt.
Shifted around the Australian top six in the No.4 and No.6 positions in the first two Tests like a game of musical chairs, Hughes said that although he does not mind where he bats, the constant shifting can be mentally frustrating, although he admitted that his failure to nail down a single position may have given the selectors an opportunity to shift him.
Hughes, who has batted in every position in the top six on this tour since Friday, further said that the situation was `bizarre`, although he added that he was comfortable opening the batting at Sussex with his experience in the spot even though it was tough to get his head around the different positions at times.
Stating that a player`s batting position is just a number next to his name, Hughes, however, shied away from nominating a preferred position in the order, with the report suggesting that he feared limiting his options when coach Darren Lehmann and selector Rod Marsh finalised a teamsheet for Manchester.
Admitting that he has no idea about the selectors` decisions, Hughes also said that changes are bound to happen to a team when it loses Test matches, adding that a team needed to find the right balance and improve the best they can in these games.
Although Hughes` 81 not out in the first innings at Trent Bridge, one half of a record-breaking last-wicket opus with Ashton Agar, is still under consideration, however, the report said that his dismal contributions in his three Test innings since then leave him in danger of being dropped out for Warner despite being the tour`s leading run scorer.
Steve Smith, presumably the other candidate for demotion should Warner be drafted back in, raised Hughes his 84 and finished the day unbeaten on 98 as Australia wound up 5-354 on the small, the report added.
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