Cardiff (Wales), July 6 (ANI): England has taken the threat of Australian opener Phil Hughes so seriously that it commissioned a secret dossier on his technique in the lead-up to the first Ashes Test, starting here on Wednesday.
If the recent tour match against the England Lions in Worcester was anything to go by, the local spooks have done their homework well.
Steve Harmison, one of the stars of the 2005 Ashes series, bounced out Hughes twice for low scores in the game.
After the game, The Australian quoted England captain Andrew Strauss as saying that the hosts had done their spying when Hughes was playing a few games for his county side, Middlesex, earlier in the year.
Strauss asked the captain, Shaun Udal, to keep a diary on the Australian and part of it noted that he was uncomfortable against the short ball.
Harmison tested the theory in the tour match and it paid off both times.
Hughes is considered by many to be the danger man for Australia after a magnificent debut in South Africa earlier this year where he belted the local bowlers and scored a pair of centuries in his second Test.
Though Harmison has not been included in the England squad for the first Test in Cardiff, Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson are expected to ensure that Hughes smells plenty of leather.
However, Australian coach Tim Nielsen points out the South African quicks tried the same tactics with little success. (ANI)