'Hughes is twice as tough as I was,' says Steve Waugh

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Sydney, July 16 (ANI): Former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh has declared that opener Phillip Hughes is twice as tough as he was at the same age, as the young Australian continues his gruelling Ashes examination on cricket's most prestigious stage.

Waugh overcame a weakness against short-pitched bowling early in his career and Hughes faces a similar challenge, especially if England include Steve Harmison in their attack for the second Test, starting at Lord's today.

Hughes sought advice from the great batsman about the secrets to success in England at a cricket function following his stunning debut series in South Africa earlier this year.

Like Hughes, Waugh was thrown into international cricket at the age of 20 and came of age on the 1989 Ashes tour, plundering 393 runs before England managed to dismiss him.

"The great thing about him is he is so mentally tough for a 20-year-old. I certainly wasn't half as tough at that age. He is a very together kid, he loves cricket [and] he wants to make a name for himself at this level," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Waugh, as saying.

Hughes's trademark is the powerful punch through point but Harmison made him look very uncomfortable with bouncers in the tour game against England Lions and Andrew Flintoff employed the same tactics in the first Test.

However, Waugh said: "He doesn't care how he looks, it's just how many runs he's going to get and he's going to get a lot of runs. If people think he's got some sort of weakness mentally or technically and they take their foot off the pedal, they will pay the same price South Africa did.

"I know he is really still when he hits the ball, he's got a great eye and he has played that way for 10 or 12 years. He knows his game better than anyone."

Waugh also predicted that Ricky Ponting would break Allan Border's longstanding Australian runs record during the second Test. Ponting needs 65 runs to eclipse Border's mark of 11,174 career runs following his commanding 150 in the first Test in Cardiff.

Waugh, who is the only Australian other than Border and Ponting to have cracked the 10,000-run barrier, said he could tell by Ponting's ruthless performance in Cardiff that the skipper would not rest until the Ashes were retained. (ANI)

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