Article

Hughes excited for India tour

11 February 2013 02:52

Australia batsman Phil Hughes says he is in a 'very confident' frame of mind ahead of the four-Test series against India.

The 24-year-old worked his way back into the Test team this summer after a run of superb form in the Sheffield Shield for his adopted state South Australia.

And scores of 86 and 87 against Sri Lanka proved he belonged at the Test level, while Hughes starred in the recent one-day series against the same opponents and the West Indies.

Just before departing Australia to link up with his team-mates, who have already arrived on the sub-continent, Hughes said he was buzzing to join the squad.

"I can't wait to get over there," Hughes told reporters.

"It's been a very long summer and a really successful summer, really. I feel very confident in my game at the moment. I feel like I've had a very good summer ... so I'm going over there with runs behind me and confidence behind me which is always a plus.

"To get over there, it's going to be a great feeling. I have been to India a number of times now but I've never played Test match cricket there. I've been on a Test tour but I was on the sidelines so I'm really looking forward to getting over there and playing."

India have selected three spinners in their squad for the first two Tests, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha joined by returning veteran Harbhajan Singh.

Hughes knows that facing the Indian tweakers in spin-friendly conditions will not be easy but believes he is well prepared for the challenge that will face him.

"I think we have got 10 days before the first Test and I'll be doing a lot of work in the nets," he said.

"I'm going to be facing a lot of spin over there ... they've got all bases covered with their spinners, going in and away from the bat. It's going to be challenging, no doubt.

"But it is about the work that you do behind the scenes in the nets and hopefully I can combat that (India's spin bowlers). I feel like I've improved (playing spin bowling). I've still got things I've got to work on and I'm doing that, definitely in the nets.

"It's very different conditions and it's challenging times for all batters that go over there. Talking to a lot of guys ... I've spoke to Michael (Clarke) the other day about it.

"I feel that Michael is our best player of spin bowling and it is good talking to guys like that and just see how they combat it."

The first Test between India and Australia begins in Chennai on February 22, with tour matches against an Indian Presidents' XI and an Indian A side to precede the series opener.

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