‘You need form nearly every innings these days to hold your spot’, says Phillip Hughes

Image courtesy of: The Telegraph

Hughes has a habit of being dropped during high profile series

With the first leg of the Ashes series done and dusted, Australia batsman Phillip Hughes, who was dropped after failing to have much of an impact during the historic series, stated that “you need form nearly every innings these days to hold your spot”.

Hughes definitely knows a thing or two about being dropped during high profile series as he was axed from Australia’s squad during the 2009 Ashes series after continuously being fooled by short-pitched deliveries.

The same thing happened in 2011 during Australia’s home series against New Zealand, but only this time, Hughes was continuously bested by pace bowler Chris Martin.

Despite scoring an impressive 81 in the first innings of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, Hughes failed to reach double figures in his next three innings as he posted scores of 0, 1 and 1.

However, Hughes admitted that he is in a much better position compared to when he was dropped in 2011.

“It’s never easy to be dropped but I feel that one was tougher than this one, and I’m being really honest about that,” Hughes said. “I feel this one, it was only three bats before I got dropped. I probably scored one of my better Test innings so it’s something I’m not overly concerned about. I feel my game is in a really good place.

“Also I got runs in Sussex [in a tour game] as well and I suppose the games that have been on tour in Worcester, Somerset and Sussex, I feel like I’m hitting the ball well. But I did miss out and had a real poor game at Lord’s. I suppose they’re trying to find the best combination and I wasn’t in that for the last two games and I respect that. But hopefully I can get back in the side sooner rather than later. I feel like my confidence isn’t shot at all.

“There is always pressure. I have always felt pressure at this level. When you lose there is more pressure. In my short career in the past couple of years we haven’t won enough Test matches. You feel you are only in the team for a couple of games. That comes with losing. You need form nearly every innings these days to hold your spot and until we start winning that’s going to continue.”

Despite struggling to find his form, Hughes vowed to regain his spot in the Test side by the time England head down under for the second leg of the Ashes series in November.

“When you do play games there’s an opportunity,” Hughes said. “Whoever plays will have an opportunity and that’s a good thing. I haven’t had an opportunity since I got dropped – or got left out the side – so I’ve really been looking forward to going out and playing some cricket and hopefully push my claims forward with a big score. It is always disappointing to get dropped, but it’s about moving on and I’m not one to dwell on what’s happened.”

Hughes also revealed that head coach Darren Lehmann and selector Rod Marsh had both informed him about needing to make a quicker start to his innings in order to avoid getting bogged down and throwing his wicket away in sheer frustration.

“You have to take your chances,” he added. “That is something I didn’t do at Lord’s. What hurt was scoring three very low scores after that 80.

“I missed out twice. I feel that in my career I’ve got a lot of low scores but when I get in, I go on with it. I have to start and get my scores up to 20s and 30s and get more starts. My record would say if I do that I go on with it. I have to get better at getting through the first 20 or 30 balls.”

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