Hughes eyes full-time Australia role


Phil Hughes hopes to establish himself in the Australia side in all formats of the game after a successful maiden one-day series against Sri Lanka. Batting at three in place of injured skipper Michael Clarke in Hobart on Wednesday, Hughes made an unbeaten 138 – his second century of the series – to be the lynchpin in Australia’s 247 for five, a score they successfully defended to square the Commonwealth Bank Series against Sri Lanka. “I’d love to play all formats. I’ve always said that but I’m grateful to crack into the one-day team and obviously the Test team and hopefully one day I’d love to be in the Twenty20 format as well,” he said after his man-of-the-match performance at Blundstone Arena. “I’m grateful for this opportunity. It’s been a while coming but I really love one-day cricket and I suppose to play a few games and also to hopefully cement myself in this one-day team is something I’m really looking to do, and also the Test team.” Hughes acknowledged his latest return to the international fold in Test and ODI cricket had been successful, runs in both formats against Sri Lanka perhaps indicating the 24-year-old is now set for an extended stay at the highest level. “It has gone smoothly,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to get back in the team and I suppose I’ve been around the mix for a number of years now, in and out of the side, so the big thing I want to do is cement myself in the Australian cricket team.” By reaching triple figures for the second time following a ton on debut in Melbourne, Hughes has been at the centre of Australia’s two standout batting performances in the series and said he relishes making such substantial contributions. “I pride myself on if I do get in I want to get a big score … I think the pleasing thing is when I did get set I made it to the three-figure mark,” he said. Outgoing captain Mahela Jayawardene said Sri Lanka can take plenty of positives from the series despite missing out on overall victory. By falling to a 32-run loss on Wednesday, Sri Lanka were unable to secure a second series victory over Australia since 2010 but might argue they had the better of the drawn series – which was Jayawardene’s last as captain, bringing to a close his second spell in charge. “It’s tough to get over something like this but I think we played some good cricket so we can take something positive from the entire series,” he said. “[I’m] disappointed we couldn’t clinically finish the game off and get the series but we’ve done a lot of good things so the guys can be very proud.” Jayawardene will now step down as ODI skipper, having already relinquished the role in the Test arena, but is not yet ready to walk away from the international game, insisting he is committed to helping Sri Lanka make the transition to a new era.