Hughes’ ability to bat in middle order will keep his career secure, says Langer

Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, who played a cameo knock during Wellington Test as a replacement for injured Shane Watson, should not fear about his career because opening isn’t his only re-entry point back into the side, according to Justin Langer.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting is desperate to get all-rounder Watson back from a thigh injury and into the line-up to open the batting and bowl a few overs of medium pace in Saturday’s second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton.

Meanwhile, Hughes has amassed 615 runs at 51.25 in his seven Tests; including his unbeaten 86 from 75 deliveries in Australia’s 10-wicket win on Tuesday in the first Test.

“He’s only played seven Tests, he’s got two hundreds … he’s going to have a massive Test career. The way for him to go about it is to keep getting physically fitter, keep improving his front-foot game, keep improving his pull shot, keep adding bits to his armoury,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Langer, as saying.

“If he can do that, he can take the world by storm again. The other thing he has to his benefit is that he can bat anywhere in the order. If you mainly bat five, six, seven, I don’t think you can necessarily bat anywhere in the order.

“But if you’ve spent your whole life in the top three like Hughesy has, you can bat anywhere else. His opportunity might come in the middle order, it might come as an opener,” Langer said.

“The fact he’s done so well opening the batting means, like (former middle-order batsman) Shane Watson doing so well as an opener, he could bat anywhere.

“If down the track Shane does bat down in the middle order – the experience of him opening, and being successful, would be massive. That’s good for Australian cricket and good for both of their development,” he added. (ANI)

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