Aussie Greats Helping Hughes

  • By: Richard Gibson, Press Association Sport
  • Last Updated: August 12 2009, 6:41 BST

Phillip Hughes has been counselled by illustrious predecessors Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer following his fall from grace.

Phil Hughes - helped by Aussie greats.

Opening batsman Hughes, 20, arrived on the Ashes tour as Australia's new pin-up but struggled to live up to the hype and was axed after England took a 1-0 lead.

He received a second snub on Tuesday when he was overlooked for the limited-overs action which follows the npower Test series.

But former Australian opening duo Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden have offered advice to Hughes, who began his international career in stunning style in South Africa earlier this year.

"Personally they have been great to me, I will continue to speak to them, as they have said a few things on keeping focus," Hughes revealed.

"They have told me there are tough times around the corner, that this might just be one, and there could be many more to come.

"It is all ups and downs in this great game that we play."

Susceptibility to the short ball was seized upon by England's attack and the pressure of an Ashes battle also seemed to get to Hughes.

However, he insisted: "Pressure is a word but what I want to do is play cricket for Australia.

"Going into South Africa, there was pressure there and you are in front of everyone's eyes at this level. But with an Ashes series there is a lot of talk, the media gets a hold of it and the whole world is watching."

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff also represented a massive new-ball challenge during the early exchanges.

"He has bowled beautifully throughout the whole series and personally I felt he bowled really well," Hughes said. "He is one of the best bowlers, if not the best, I have faced.

"South Africa come at you hard and bowl well as a unit but he is a great bowler."

Hughes, who famously announced his omission on Twitter, began the English summer plundering runs for Middlesex but was dispensed with after three relative failures in Cardiff and at Lord's.

"You look back and to be dropped after five Tests is very disappointing but that is what has happened and what was best for the side," Hughes said. "I am happy to be where I am: 20 years old and in an Ashes series.

"I am not thinking my tour is over, I am going to go into every game, and training session, preparing as though I am going to play. Because you just never know what could happen."