Sydney: Phil Hughes is facing the prospect of getting sacked for the third time in his Australian Test career after failing to perform in the first two Test matches against India.
Hughes` renaissance in Test cricket seems to be perishing fast, as in his third incarnation as a Test batsman, the 24-year-old impressed against Sri Lanka last summer but he is struggling to cope with the suffocating walls of spin in his maiden series on Indian soil.
Coming to the crease at 1-56, Hughes lasted just nine balls before he played on attempting to sweep Ravichandran Ashwin on day three of Hyderabad Test.
The pint-sized left-hander now has scores of 6, 0, 19 and 0 at an average of 6.25 at the mid-point of this four-Test series, and while the size of the 16-man touring party may save Hughes for the third Test, his hopes of being retained for the Ashes in June are diminishing with every failure, the paper said.
The former NSW opener has already been dropped twice in his Test career. Australia`s selectors will be reluctant to order a third demotion, for they would fear Hughes might never be back.
But in the data-rabid game that is cricket every batsman knows their indisputable currency is runs, and plenty of them, and Hughes is simply not getting enough.
The left-handed batsman spent the winter re-shaping his technique to open up leg-side scoring options but the reality is Hughes has not looked comfortable employing strategies to combat spin on Indian decks.
As Hughes trudged back to the pavilion on Monday, his Test average had dropped to 33.25 from 22 Tests, and since his return, he has managed scores of 86 and 87 against Sri Lanka, but the Test ton he is craving with his beefed-up style still beckons, the paper concluded.
First Published: Tuesday, March 05, 2013, 11:55