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Hughes, Johnson Cummins sharpen skills at Brisbane center ahead of UK tour

May 17, 2012 - Brisbane

Before flying out next week for the second half of the English county season, out-of-favour Australian opener Philip Hughes, 23, spent time at Brisbane's Centre of Excellence and was immediately targeted by quicks Mitchell Johnson and Pat Cummins.

"To have Mitch Johnson and Pat Cummins bowling full tilt at you - it's been a huge challenge," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hughes, as saying in Brisbane yesterday.

"It's been quite intense. But it's been great training with those guys for the last few days. Overall, the last six weeks, I have done a fair bit of work. It's been a couple of hours a day - day in, day out," he added.

"There's a couple of things I had to work on and had to nail them down before I went to England (to play county cricket for Worcestshire), so it's been a fair amount of time spent in the nets," Hughes said.

Critics have said in the past that Hughes needed all the practice he could get after he averaged 10.25 in a two-Test series against New Zealand last summer, prompting another dumping.

In an indication of how lowly Hughes ranks, the big-hitting left-hander missed out on the Australia A squad that will visit England in July and August.

It would be enough to discourage most cricketers - but Hughes appears ready for the challenge after rediscovering his bush roots.

He will hope history repeats at Worcestershire; he enjoyed a prolific spell with Middlesex before the 2009 Ashes.


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