Warwickshire (UK), July 31 (ANI): Australian cricket team coach Tim Nielsen has said that dumped opener Phil Hughes needs to improve his game to be considered a long term Test prospect.
The 20-year-old was a sensation in South Africa earlier this year, becoming the youngest player in history to score two centuries on the trot. He has managed just 57 runs at 19 in the first two Tests and was replaced at the top of the order by all-rounder Shane Watson, who was unbeaten on 62 at stumps as Australia raced to 1-126 from 30 overs after a rain-delayed opening day.
"We felt here the fast bowlers for England had some success against him," Nielsen said of Hughes.
"He does need to go away and work at his game. He probably exceeded our expectations initially with the success he had in South Africa, and the way he played," the Daily Telegraph quoted him, as saying further.
Nielsen refused to expand on what Hughes needed to improve to compete successfully at the highest level.
In a separate article for the Sydney Morning Herald, cricket columnist Peter Roebuck has said that there seems to be an absence of logic in taking the decision to drop Hughes.
"Hughes's dumping is a setback for a fine young batsman with a lot of runs to his name at every level of the game. His initial selection was no mere shot in the dark. It was not a question of promise or golden boy or NSW favouritism. It was not even entirely about youth or the selectors' determination to stop the ageing of their team. He secured his place in the old-fashioned way, by weight of runs, by taking his chances, most notably in Newcastle where, with the touring party shortly to be announced in a few days, he scored heavily in both innings," says Roebuck.
"Every step of the way his promotion was the result of hard work and hard runs. And all those runs were made against the new ball, at the tough end of the list. His ejection is a blow against youth and imagination. It is also a move made in defiance of logic and consistency," he adds.
"A batsman whose audacity bemused and latterly impressed the Proteas suddenly finds himself wondering when another opportunity might come his way. Certainly, chinks had emerged in his game, not least in his tendency to give himself room to play back-foot shots. But he has not given much time to put them right. And others also have weak points, though they may not stick out like sore thumbs," Roebuck says.
"Hughes stands his own ground. He is a born opener, and relishes responsibility, rejoices in the bumpers and a fresh attack. Certainly he is young and raw but that has not stopped previous generations of Australians," he said.
He believes that Australia has shown its desperation to get Shane Watson back into the side, which is puzzling. H
In short, it is a short-term decision exposing confusion in official ranks. (ANI)