Phil Hughes Must Move to Opener
It is time that Phillip Hughes stopped playing slightly out of position at number 3 and began to spear head the Aussie top order, at the place where he scored runs for fun during the domestic season before being recalled to the national side.
The batting order is in dire need of reconstruction and putting Hughes up the top is the first small step. Cowan would be the man to make way. Having a top 3 who all average below 40 is simply not good enough for an Australian side, so he would have to slide down the order or miss out altogether.
Hughes excels against pace, so he must be given as much time as possible against it. He loves cracking the hard, new ball for four (often behind point), so don’t let it soften up before he gets out there.
He worked so hard to improve his game, he refined his approach and did it all while in the mentality of being an opener. He was rightfully recalled to the test team, but was then slotted in somewhere alien.
You may think it doesn’t make a difference, but it does. Some people are just natural openers – they need to walk straight out, they know exactly when they need to switch on. Waiting around in the dressing room, unsure of when it will be their turn works against them mentally, whether it be because of nerves or even getting too relaxed. I believe Hughes is one of these people and it adds to the argument.
Another thing to consider is that it would take a bit of pressure off Warner. Having another positive batsman at the crease with him could allow him to relax a bit more. The combination is potentially lethal. While the Warner-Cowan partnership is one that is labelled as the perfect compliment of temperaments, I would label a Warner-Hughes one more as potentially match winning.
Again, this is just a small step in fixing a flailing Aussie test team, but it is a move that needs to happen. Hughes is an opener. Period. So get him in there.
Image sourced from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phillip_Hughes.JPG