Hughes has definitely made an early impact in his short ODI career
After having scored two centuries, including one on debut, during the recently concluded ODI series against Sri Lanka, Australia batsman Phillip Hughes is well on his way to becoming the country’s next limited overs superstar.
However, Hughes will have to compete against opener David Warner for that title, and while he may not have been gifted with brute power and strength like Warner has, he believes that his orthodox strokes will wow the crowds just as much as Warner’s ability to clear the ropes with relative ease.
Hughes was initially considered to be more of a Test specialist by the national selectors, but even they can’t argue with his stellar performances over the past number of games.
With more and more youngsters being added into the mix, Hughes is hoping that he will be able to cement his place in the side until the 2015 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup comes around.
“It’s an opportunity for guys coming in now, there’s a few new faces around the squad,” Hughes said. “For those guys resting for the first couple of games, they play that much cricket and I’m sure they’ll come back fresh and bigger and better. It does allow guys now to get that opportunity … now given this opportunity I’m grateful for it and hopefully I can stamp my authority in this format.
“My focus has been all three formats. I want to be that complete batsman playing three forms hopefully one day. There’s still work I’ve got to do but for this opportunity to come up I’m grateful for it. I’ve had a fair taste of Test cricket now but never in the short format, so that’s why I’m rapt about getting this chance.”
Currently sporting an average of 60.66 in ODIs, Hughes has left the national selectors embarrassed and red-faced since they believed that the format would not suit his style of play.
Hughes’ ability to rotate the strike and up the ante at any given time has also impressed his team-mates, cricket pundits and former players as well.
The new upcoming all-star noted that batsmen had to be more aggressive in ODI cricket compared to the calm and composed approach that can be taken in Test cricket since there are only a limited number of overs to score as many runs as possible.
“It’s a format that you’ve got to really attack and that’s probably my natural game,” Hughes said. “The instincts take over and I really like to attack and get on that front foot and take the game forward. I feel like I’ve worked on a number of shots, especially through the leg side, over the last six to 12 months.
“I feel like I’ve come a long way in one-day cricket. I had a stint in county cricket with Worcestershire and I felt like I performed quite well, and at the start of the season for South Australia. There’s work that I had to do and I feel like I’m quite confident in my one-day game now. I’m really grateful for this opportunity and hopefully I can make the most of it.”