Leave Hughes out of the Ashes

nick richardson Roar Guru

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    Phil Hughes: 1988-2014. (AAP Image/Chris Crerar)

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    Australia has a tendency to play openers in positions unfamiliar to them and this trend looks set to continue, with Phil Hughes one of five openers named in the Ashes squad.

    This needs to be reconsidered but if Australia are going to continue this trend, their batsmen need to find a way to make the transfer from top to middle order more successful.

    As this needed transformation will not be made by the upcoming Ashes, two openers need to be dropped, with one batting at six due to a shortage in specialist batsman.

    One surefire player to be dropped in my eyes is Phil Hughes. Hughes has been a successful shield batsman, but has done nothing at Test level since his breakout series in South Africa.

    Hughes will be found out in England, as he has been by every decent pace attack he has faced. Hughes will be tested with short and top of off bowling and will crack as he has before.

    Hughes is still young and has plenty of time to improve his technique. He can do that in the shield, but until he has shown improved technical and mental strength he should not have a place in the Australian Test team.

    Hughes has not proved himself enough at Test level to earn a spot in the Ashes team.

    My top order for the first Test is:

    Chris Rogers and Ed Cowan opening. These two have been playing county cricket and this makes them very selectable.

    Usman Khawaja needs to bat three because he is the best in Australia’s ranks capable of play there.

    Michael Clarke has got to move up the order to four and coach Darren Lehmann thinks the same way.

    Steve Smith proved that he has matured and is ready to play for Australia and should bat five.

    This leaves one of the openers to play at number six because of a lack of specialist batsmen picked. Shane Watson is the best to fill this spot. He will play as the fourth seamer and plays better against an older, slower ball.

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