Oz opener Hughes looking forward to stepping on the Ashes pedal

June 14th, 2009 - 2:43 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, June 14 (ANI): For Cricket Australia’s boy wonder, Phillip Hughes, the only aim before him is to push the pedal of batting form down harder and take the Poms on at full throttle during next month’s Ashes series.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s latest Test opening bat is all steel when it comes to facing the red cherry.

The 20-year-old has been a revelation since making his international debut last year, showing that he has all the time in the world to crack the ball along the green.

The Sun-Herald was invited to Hughes’s final practice with coach Neil D’Costa before he heads to England tomorrow to play in his first Ashes series.

D’Costa has been feeding a bowling machine hurling deliveries at 130 km/h to Hughes, who middles every shot.

D’Costa yells advice and poses challenges. And Hughes responds silently, using the crease, placing his shots just where he wants.

One to mid-on, the next to cover. “Good!” D’Costa screams. He declares knowingly, “This guy’s ready.”

Hughes’s readiness, however, is not just for what happens on the field.

A lot has changed for the talented and hard-working country boy. He is enjoying the ride so far but knows now that it’s not all easy, having just hit his first speed bump.

Hughes is aware questions are being asked about his mentoring. He argues that not only does the direction he’s receiving suit him but he’s also very capable of making his own judgments.

“People have made comments, saying that my management is taking me the wrong way but the reality is that I am my own person,” Hughes says.

“I get advice from my management and from other people and all of it helps me. But in the end, I am my own person. I’m very happy with my management. I’ve been with Neil since I was 16 and it has helped me get to where I am now.”

It’s only a matter of time before Hughes, like Clarke, plays all three forms of cricket for his country.

“Cricket Australia have communicated really well with me. I know that I haven’t been pigeon-holed as a Test player and that my future is up to me. They said that they see an opportunity for me in other forms of the game. I’d like to play all three forms of the game but at the moment I’m about to represent Australia in an Ashes series and I’m pretty happy with that,” he said.

In a little over three weeks, Hughes will walk out with Simon Katich in Cardiff.

A good start in the first Test could be the basis for an Australian series win. A lot will weigh on Hughes’s young shoulders, on and off the field.

He will have his family - father Greg, mother Virginia, sister Megan and brother Jason - by his side for the first couple of weeks.

Ultimately, success or failure will be in Hughes’s hands. (ANI)

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