Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I would love to play in the IPL:New South Wales batsman Phillip Hughes

After a sensational Test debut against South Africa, which yielded two hundreds in his first two Tests, Hughes has been out in the cold, struggling for every breath.

All of 20 years, the southpaw from Macksville in New South Wales Blues is wiser for the entire storm he has gone through.

For now, all that matters for Hughes is playing cricket in any format. The lucrative Indian Premier is one of them.

“I would love to play in the IPL. It is a wonderful format and I understand it is a very thrilling format and playing in India will be a huge challenge.”

Hughes would know a thing or two about India. Currently in India for the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 for the Blues, the youngster has been out on a mission since his omission from the Australian squad after the last of his five Tests against England in July this year.

The much talked about rendezvous with Sachin Tendulkar had its impact on Hughes alright. It showed all the more he glowed.
“Yeah, it was great meeting Sachin. We just had a general chat and it was nice of him to give me three hours of his time.

It was interesting to see the hunger Sachin still has for runs after two decades in the international arena. He is a true legend.”

Both men started playing for their countries at a very young age and it was not surprising to hear Hughes talk of his youth with Tendulkar.

“I did ask him questions about his youth and how he handled all the pressure of being a cricketer. His humility is incredible.”

Life does change in cricket and it has for Hughes. From being a well-talked about cricketer a year ago, the left-handed opener became hot property after his stunning debut.

A duck followed two hundreds. That was incredible too, is it not?

“Well, I think so mate. I was nervous after my first innings duck. I had a few nervous moments and I knew I had to perform.”

The pressure, understandably, would have been immense. South Africa had drubbed the Aussies Down Under, Matthew Hayden had retired and there was already no Justin Langer and Hughes was hailed as the best thing to happen to Australian cricket in this decade even before he had played his first Test!

“I went back to the dressing room after my four ball duck. Those moments at the crease were nerve wracking and I realised that it could not get worse than that. Things could only get better.”

They did until he hit the rocks and faced the heat. The first axe was followed by his first ever controversy (remember the Twitter saga?), but let us steer clear of that.

Now, here is. In India, global cricket stars get the adulations they deserve and Hughes will be no different as his team goes searching for more glory at the next stage of the Airtel CL T20.

The unbeaten 62 against the Sussex Sharks was a fine effort from a young man, trying to find his feet at the big league again. Somewhere in Australia, the selectors would have noted the knock down in their diaries.

The world needs to watch out for him. There will be more from Australia’s youngest Test debutant and if he does live up to it, that will herald a new dawn and a new generation of cricketers who thrive on the traditional format in the days of sizzling, fast cricket.

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