Hughes raring to go
Australia opener fully prepared for Ashes after stint with Middlesex
Last Updated: June 23, 2009 8:36am
Hughes: Raring to go
Australia opener Phil Hughes says he is ready and raring to go ahead of this summer's Ashes series.
The 20-year-old left-hander spent a short spell in English county cricket earlier this year, where he notched four hundreds in four weeks with Middlesex.
He has since worked on his game to be fully prepared for the conditions he will face and can not wait to get the series underway.
Before flying to England, Hughes said: "The ball does swing late and the wickets are a lot slower (in England), so there were a couple of things I picked up and a couple of things I've been working on the last couple of weeks just to keep my game intact for the series ahead.
"I won't change my technique and I won't come out and say what (I've been working on) but there have been a couple of things.
"I'd never been to England before and I thought if I get over there for a little stint (it would be beneficial).
"The preparation's been great. I feel comfortable going into this series.
"I took 10 days completely off and spent time with my family and close friends and I've been (back in) training the last couple of weeks.
"There were a couple of things I wanted to work on and I feel very comfortable."
Hughes was at school the last time Australia played an Ashes series in England and the New South Wales star, who averages just under 70 after three Tests, still finds it hard to believe he will be out in the middle in such a famous series.
"I used to watch your Michael Clarkes and your Ricky Pontings on TV and to get to play alongside them in an Ashes series, I never thought that (would happen)," he said.
"It's a massive series. I can't wait."
Such is his appetite for the challenge, Hughes has even volunteered to face the first ball in each innings, while opening partner Simon Katich will field at short leg as his part of the deal.
"I'm happy with that. You're going to have to face a ball anyway," Hughes said.
"I'll face the ball first time every time. I'm a positive guy; that's how I like to be.
"I don't want to doubt myself because that's when things can slip away."