Test opener Phillip Hughes, who scored an unbeaten 86 from 75 balls to take Australia to an emphatic 10-wicket victory over New Zealand, still faces the prospect of losing his Test spot.
Hughes’ unbeaten knock is unlikely to save him from the selection axe with injured all-rounder Shane Watson almost certain to replace the opener for the second Test, starting on Saturday.
Watson, who suffered a hip injury during the fourth one-dayer against New Zealand, is expected to get the green light when he undergoes a final fitness test on Friday.
“He [Watson] is a better than even money bet to play. I’m confident he’s going to play, put it that way,” Australian physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.
“He’s making good progress. At this stage he’s on track to play the next Test. He hasn’t trained fully yet but we’ll be looking to him training fully at Hamilton and then passing him fit,” The Daily Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
Skipper Ricky Ponting added: “Hopefully we’ll get him back. If we do, then it means the bowlers won’t have to do as much next week.”
Ponting said Hughes is an exciting player, but Watson’s all-round talents are vital with bat and ball and provide extra back up to pace trio of Doug Bollinger, Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson.
The trio bowled a combined 122 overs in the first Test and Ponting says they’ll be given plenty of rest before the second Test. (ANI)