Reborn Test player Phil Hughes plans to prove his reworked batting technique can thrive just as well in the one-day international arena.
Previously viewed as a red-ball specialist, the diminutive 24-year-old left-hander is one of four potential debutants in Australia’s 13-man squad for the first two games of the one-day series against Sri Lanka, starting at the MCG on Friday.
It follows his solid return from the Test wilderness in the just-completed 3-0 series sweep of the tourists, a year after having his batting technique repeatedly exposed at Test level by New Zealand seamer Chris Martin.
But Hughes has no fears the hard work he has done at domestic level tightening his style might unravel under the added urgency of one-day cricket.
Instead, he expects the 50-over format to provide an even better showcase for some of his newly-honed skills.
“I’ve come a long way in one-day cricket,” Hughes told reporters as Australia’s squad gathered in Melbourne on Tuesday.
“I had a stint in county cricket with Worcestershire and I felt like I performed quite well and at the start of the season for South Australia.
“There’s work that I had to do and I feel like I’m quite confident in my one-day game now.
“It’s a format that you’ve got to really attack and that’s probably my natural game – the instincts take over.
“I feel like I’ve worked on a number of shots, especially through the leg side, over the last six to 12 months. Hopefully I can take that into this series.”
With fellow top-order batsmen Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja also untried at ODI level and stand-in skipper and middle-order batsman George Bailey having played only 13 games, Australia’s batting line-up is extremely inexperienced.
But Hughes has no concerns they could prove vulnerable against a Sri Lankan attack boasting super-slinger Lasith Malinga and spin danger men Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath.
“The experience is there through state cricket even though it’s not there through international cricket,” he said.
“You’ve got to start somewhere.”
When announcing the new-look squad, national selector John Inverarity highlighted the need to prepare for this year’s tours of India and England and fill the Test vacancy left by Mike Hussey, as well as looking to the 2015 World Cup.
But Hughes said there was no sense that auditioning for future honours was a greater focus than the series itself.
“When you step on the field it’s always to win and that’s what we always think about,” he said.
“We want to win this series.”