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Hayden, Langer to mentor dumped Hughes

Hayden and Langer promised to help Hughes to come back stronger.

July 31, 2009, 12:35 PM IST
Hayden, Langer to mentor dumped Hughes

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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2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
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2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
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