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Hughes confident he's a new Test man
Greg Buckle
16:42 AEST Tue Dec 11 2012

Phil Hughes is confident his attention to detail in improving his leg-side play will pay off as he makes his return to the big time in Friday's opening Test against Sri Lanka at Bellerive.

The 24-year-old, with 17 Tests to his name, was dropped after the Hobart Test against New Zealand a year ago and has been recalled for the Sri Lankan series, with a likely role at No.3 instead of his usual opening gig.

Criticised in the past for poking catches to the slips cordon, the NSW product has averaged more than 50 in Sheffield Shield cricket with his new side South Australia this summer.

"It's a great feeling. I'm really excited about it," Hughes told a news conference in Hobart on Tuesday.

"This is the ground where things probably didn't pan out perfectly on a personal note.

"Twelve months down the track, I feel like I'm in a better place now."

Hughes put his head down and did extra work on his batting last summer once he was removed from the Test side, turning his back on the domestic Twenty20 Big Bash League.

"I feel like I've done a lot of work," he said.

"I knew I had to make sacrifices along the way and that was definitely one, to pull out of the Twenty20 comp last year, to work on my technique and become a better player."

The pull shot is the big weapon for Hughes these days, after relying heavily on the square-drive and cut in the past.

"It is a lot different. Probably 70 to 80 per cent of my scoring options were on the off side," Hughes said.

"I feel now I've got both sides of the field covered and that's something I had to go away and work on.

"The leg-side play was something big in my mind that I had to focus on.

"I'm free-flowing now. It's easier when they do bowl straighter that I can work off my hip and off to the leg side."


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