Oz opener Hughes needs to expand range of shots to counter Poms: Gooch

Posted By: Staff

London, July 23 (ANI): Former England captain and opening batsman Graham Gooch has advised Australia's out-of-form opener Phillip Hughes (57 runs in three innings) to expand the range of scoring options, but not change his unorthodox methods, in order to combat England's tactics.

Gooch, who had a torrid time against Australian pace bowler Terry Alderman in the 1989 Ashes series, said that the current grueling initiation would do Hughes a world of good in future campaigns.

Gooch, whose particular weakness was playing around his front pad to Alderman's outswingers, believes there is a lesson for the gifted young Australian in his own experience.

"I thank Terry Alderman for what he did because it made me adapt my game and after that I had the best four years of my Test career," the Sydney Morning herald quoted Gooch, as saying.

"He's (Hughes) younger than I was and he will learn over time, he is a very switched on lad. What England are trying to do is dry up his favourite shots on the off side, and he will have to find a way of scoring in different areas. You have to expand your game.

They will come around the wicket and keep firing the ball in at his body, they're not going to bowl short and wide outside off stump, but having met the young lad I'm sure he will work it out," he added.

Hughes is 20 and it is only three Tests since his twin centuries in Durban against South Africa's high-class pace attack.

He will be given time to work through the first real form slump of his career, during which Flintoff has dismissed him twice after his Durham mate, Steve Harmison, roughed him up before the series.

"He's been a bit unlucky in his batting here, things didn't really go his way," Australia's coach Tim Nielsen said, adding that "He's up against a good bowling attack and he will keep working hard."

The Australian selectors have been criticized for not having a specialist top order batsman in reserve but they are adamant Shane Watson can bat at any position in the line-up. (ANI)

Story first published: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 12:49 [IST]
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