The Ashes 2017-18: NSW batsman Daniel Hughes ready for a Ashes call-up
The left-handed batsman Daniel Hughes, who recently replaced Ed Cowan in the New South Wales (NSW) side, has declared himself ready if he gets an Ashes call-up starting later this month. Proving the selectors right, Hughes backed-up his selection scoring a fluent half-century in NSW’s victory in JLT Sheffield Shield against South Australia. It will come as a huge surprise if the selectors prefer Hughes over Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh; Marcus Stoinis for the much-debated no six spot ahead of the first Ashes test starting on November 23rd.
The 28-year-old cricketer is a highly-rated batsman in the Australian domestic circuit. Australian skipper Steve Smith admitted that he played an important role in picking Hughes over the veteran Cowan, who was the leading run-scorer in the 2016-17 season. Smith was heard praising Hughes potential to represent Australia in the five-day format of the game even before he scored runs in the season opener, second best after David Warner’s knock of 83 runs. Previously played as an opener, the batsman showed great composure with his ability to handle the pink ball, which was still causing problems when he came to bat at no 6. The left-hander will get one more opportunity ahead of the selection when NSW host Western Australia at Sydney’s Hurstville Oval.
“I’m ready. “I’m 28 now. I’ve been playing professional cricket now for six years and I’m more mature now. I’ll never be more ready for an opportunity if I get it. It’s a long list of guys for that No. 6 spot for the first Test. It’ll be interesting to see who they go with,” Hughes was heard telling the reporters.
Hughes also admitted that the next two matches would be crucial to see who gets a nod ahead. Cowan, who was disappointed by getting dropped but Hughes realised that there are no hard feeling between them.
“I actually got a text from him before the game. He said ‘mate, I know it’s been a bit of a circus the last week but I want you to know I wish you all the best and I hope you actually do go out there and score a hundred and put your name up in lights,” the first-class cricketer said.
With pacer Jose Hazlewood set to return after recovering from a side strain, the NSW ranks will have Australia first Test bowling attack in the form of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon. Starc had already sent a message to the English batsmen when he rattled the Redbacks second innings with an impressive figure of 8 for 73 which Hughes describes as phenomenal.
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