Langer says it would be ridiculous to axe Hughes from NSW squad

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Brisbane,Feb 14 (ANI): Former Australian opener Justin Langer has rubbished speculation about one-time national opener Phillip Hughes facing the axe from the New South Wales team, labelling any decision to dump him as "absolutely ridiculous".

"NSW dropping Hughes would be ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous," Langer told The Sun-Herald yesterday.

"I'd be surprised, as an outsider looking in, if New South Wales were looking to leave someone like Phillip Hughes out ... a guy who's such a good player, such a good talent and still so young," Langer, now a batting consultant with the Australian squad, as adding.

Twenty-one-year-old Hughes fall from grace has been as spectacular as his stellar Test career start in South Africa last year.

He has been youngest Australian century-maker in 43 years and the youngest player from any country to score twin hundreds in a Test. But since being replaced by Shane Watson at the top of the order after the second Ashes Test last year, things have gone downhill for the left-hander.

In a disappointing Sheffield Shield season, he scored 453 runs at 37.75. In the 2008-09 season, he made 891 runs at 74.25.

Hughes was recalled to the Test side last month in Sydney against Pakistan, making 0 and 37. He has not returned to the international arena since.

Langer can empathise with Hughes. In March 1993, Langer was dropped after his first five Tests before returning in November 1994. That was the same number of Tests Hughes had played before being left out for the first time in July.

The West Australian said he learnt a lot during his absence from the Australian team and he felt Hughes could do the same.

"He just needs to be patient and keep working and becoming a better cricketer in all areas of his game. When he does that, I reckon he'll explode back on the world stage," Langer said. (ANI)

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