Melbourne: Former openers Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer promised to counsel Phil Hughes and help him come back stronger after he was omitted on Thursday from Australia's Ashes team for the third Test.
"Phil Hughes will be embraced by a strong opening partnership, Justin Langer and myself, who believe very strongly in providing support to opening partners," Hayden was quoted as saying by Courier Mail.
"I am looking forward to sitting down with Phil and trying to pass on as much experience as I possibly can," said the burly opener, who was replaced by Hughes following Hayden's retirement.
Hayden has already started counselling the young opener. He and current opener Simon Katich, spoke to Hughes at length before play started at Edgbaston.
The 20-year-old Hughes had confirmed his axing on a social networking site.
"Disappointed not to be on the field with the lads today, will be supporting the guys, it's a BIG test match 4 us," said Hughes, who was replaced by Shane Watson for the third Test. "Thanks 4 all the support."
Former Test legend Doug Walters meanwhile blasted Australia selectors for dropping Hughes even as Mark Waugh claimed the opener paid the price to accommodate an out of form Mitchell Johnson.
"They've pushed the panic button a bit too early," Walters said.
"I think he's been hard done by. There are other places they could have fitted Shane Watson into the team without dropping him (Hughes).
"I think Hughes has been sensational. It's only a little bit of a hiccup for him. They've only played two Tests in the series. I would like to have seen him continue in the side."
Test selector and former Australia pacer Merv Hughes defended Hughes' omission.
"You have to remember it was only a few years ago that Watson was the No.1 all-rounder," Hughes said.
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