Friday, 29 June 2012
Test captain Michael Clarke has backed former NSW teammate Phil Hughes to fight his way back into the Australian team following his switch to South Australia.
Hughes, 23, has signed a three-year deal to play for the Redbacks at the batsman-friendly Adelaide Oval.
The left-hander, who has scored 1072 runs at 34.58 in 17 Tests, was dropped from the Test side seven months ago following failures against New Zealand.
"The most important thing for Phil Hughes is to make as many runs as he possibly can," said Clarke, who is also a selector under the new regime.
"It does not matter where you play it is about scoring runs and trying to get picked for Australia and I am pretty sure that is what Hughesy's attitude will be as a player.
"I am very confident he will play well to be re-selected for Australia."
Hughes said the move to the under-achieving Redbacks came at a pivotal time in his career.
"The next two years are the most critical in my cricket career," he said.
"And I'm not going to leave any stone unturned to make sure I put myself back into contention to play again for Australia."
Hughes is currently playing English county cricket for Worcestershire and was last week overlooked for one of Cricket Australia's (CA) 17-man contract list.
SA haven't won a Sheffield Shield game since November 2010, an unsuccessful streak of 16 matches.
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