Friday 14 December 2012 

Hughes Aiming To 'Cement' Number Three Position

	Hughes Aiming To 'Cement' Number Three Position
Hughes Aiming To 'Cement' Number Three Position
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

On the back of his accomplished half-century on the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart, Australia's Phil Hughes has set his sights on becoming Australia's first choice number three batsman.

David Warner and Michael Clarke also scored half-centuries but Hughes top scored with 86 out of his side's total of 299 for four having been recalled to take over Ricky Ponting's spot in the squad.

Now he has set his sights on nailing down the same position in which Ponting excelled during his reign as captain.

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"I really enjoyed batting three," he said. "I was in there quite early but in saying that there will be times I'll come in after lunch or you don't really know. Getting runs behind me today was a nice thing, going forward I would really love to cement that position."

Hughes knows he still has plenty of work to do if he is to make the position that Ponting made his own for so long.

"Batting three, or batting anywhere, you go through stages where you score freely and then you've got to hold it back when the bowler is bowling into good areas and you've got to be sharp. 

"I thought there were perfect examples today when there were periods I didn't score that freely and others when I did.  The wicket overall was a little bit slow as well, so if you bowl good areas on it it can be tough to score. 

"Good players around the world, they adapt to the conditions and pace of the innings as well, that is something I will continue to work on."

Hughes was eventually dismissed when he was bowled by Chanaka Welagedara but he had been involved in a mix-up that saw Warner run out.

"It's always disappointing to get a run out and at that time, it wasn't great going into lunch, but that's cricket," he said before going on to praise Warner's innings.

"He was oustanding and it was good batting with him, I was just trying to get him on strike and I had the best seat in the house.  That's how David plays, he really takes it to the opposition and it's good to see him play like that."

Neither side was able to completely dominate throughout the days's play but Hughes believes that Australia are in the stronger position going into day two.

"It started off quite good, then they bowled well, then back to me then back to them. There was an hour period after lunch where I thought they bowled then it went back to the batting side.

"Overall I think 4-299 the ball is in our court and I thought we were outstanding today, with Hussey putting on 100, it really gives us momentum going into tomorrow."

© Cricket World 2012

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