Hughes steps into big shoes as Ponting's Test replacement
PHILLIP Hughes has some huge shoes to fill.
The 24-year-old South Australian opener has been given the nod to replace the retired Ricky Ponting in the first Test against Sri Lanka, beginning in Hobart next Friday.
Hughes, who joined the Redbacks from New South Wales during the winter, has scored 524 first-class runs this summer at 47.63 and has the chance to wear his baggy green for the first time after spending a year in the wilderness.
He was picked ahead of Alex Doolan, Usman Khawaja and Rob Quiney, who failed to impress in his two Tests against South Africa.
National Selection Panel (NSP) chairman John Inverarity said Hughes, who has scored 1072 runs at 34.58 in his 17 Tests to-date, deserved his chance.
"Phillip is an improved player and his recent and overall career statistics present a compelling case," Inverarity said.
"The NSP holds the view that he, having just turned 24, is a very significant part of the future. He has received this call-up, his third, as it was considered to be the right time and circumstances for him to re-establish himself.
"Michael Clarke will give careful consideration to his batting order during the next few days.
"He has a number of options open to him and Hughes at three is one of these."
Pace duo Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus also return to the 12-man squad at the expense of John Hastings and Josh Hazlewood, who were not considered due to injury.
- Michael Clarke (c)
- Shane Watson (vc)
- Ed Cowan
- Ben Hilfenhaus
- Phillip Hughes
- Mike Hussey
- Mitchell Johnson
- Nathan Lyon
- Peter Siddle
- Mitchell Starc
- Matthew Wade