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Rested Hughes looks for impact
11:00am Friday 25th May 2012 in News
A REJUVENTAED Phil Hughes has vowed to rediscover his form and make Australia’s loss, Worcestershire’s gain this summer.
The axed opener who lost his Cricket Australia contract in the winter and was left out of the touring Australia A’ squad has spent the past six weeks ironing out some technical flaws which cost him his Test spot at Brisbane’s Centre of Excellence.
The New South Wales batsman, who flew into England yesterday, believes facing Australian international fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Patrick Cummins in the nets has helped to refine his technique.
“To have Mitch Johnson and Pat Cummins bowling full tilt at you — it’s been a huge challenge,” Hughes said. “It’s been quite intense.
“But it’s been great training with those guys for the last few days.
“Over the last six weeks, I have done a fair bit of work. It’s been a couple of hours a day — day in, day out.
“There’s a couple of things I had to work on and had to nail down before going to Worcestershire so it’s been a fair amount of time spent in the nets.”
Hughes was dumped from Australia’s Test squad after averaging a paltry 10.25 in November’s home two-Test series against New Zealand.
The former Hampshire and Middlesex batsman went on to endure a torrid state season for New South Wales; averaging just 28.55 from 10 Sheffield Shield — Australia’s equivalent of the county championship — innings.
Hughes did at least finish top of his state’s Ryobi one-day cup averages; averaging 154, albeit in only two innings.
But Hughes is confident that a fortnight away at the family banana farm in the tiny New South Wales country town of Macksville will bear fruit for Worcestershire in the second half of the county season.
“I had a couple of weeks off, went back and caught up with my family and mates back home, spent a bit of time with dad out on the farm,” he said.
“It was just totally different to playing cricket. Just to relax my mind and get back was great.
“Now I am just looking forward to playing for Worcestershire in three forms of the game.
“Hopefully, I can get as many runs as possible.”