Hughes’ surge in form expected to leave Oz management in selection conundrum

Updated: Oct 22, 2012, 14:35 PM IST

Sydney: Opening batsman Phil Hughes’ brilliant run of form in domestic cricket has put the Australia team management in a selection dilemma ahead of the three-Test series against world No.1 South Africa starting on November 9 at the Gabba.

Hughes is the third-highest run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield, and only one batsman has scored more domestic one-day runs than him this season.

The left-hander has another chance to press his Test claims when his adopted state South Australia host Queensland in a Shield match in Adelaide from Tuesday, while incumbent Ed Cowan would need runs for Tasmania against Victoria in their match at the MCG starting the same day.

Hughes, who cracked an unbeaten 95 against the Bulls in Sunday`s one-day match, was axed from the Test side last December and replaced by Cowan, but the early domestic form of the left-handed pair this season is in stark contrast.

In the Shield, Hughes has made 218 Shield runs at an average of 54.50, while his competitor Cowan has made just 60 runs at 20.00, lying 36th on the run-scorer`s list.

In the one-day format, Hughes has scored 132 runs and been dismissed just once while Cowan made 13 in his sole appearance for Tasmania.

But Hughes was quick to ward off questions about whether Australian selectors should be taking notice of his form surge and was more concerned with helping struggling South Australia get their season back on track.

“I just want to score as many runs as I can for South Australia,” a leading daily quoted Hughes, as saying.

“I really want to be the most consistent batsman I can be and score as many runs as I can across all formats,” he added.