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Hughes staying upbeat

Dropped Aussie opener vows to stay positive

Hughes:

Discarded Australia opener Phillip Hughes insisted he is not too disheartened by his continuing exclusion from the international side.

"Going into South Africa, there was pressure there and you are in front of everyone's eyes at this level. But with an Ashes series there is a lot of talk, the media gets a hold of it and the whole world is watching."

Phillip Hughes

Quotes of the week

Big things were expected from the young opener in the Ashes series, but after just two Tests he was dropped in favour of Shane Watson after three failures with the bat.

Hughes has also been left out of the Twenty20 and ODI squad for the following limited overs portion of the Australia tour, but he is trying to keep his spirits high.

The 20-year-old is obviously disappointed to have lost his place in the side, but he is staying positive and refuses to sulk over his fall from grace.

"You look back and to be dropped after five Tests is very disappointing but that is what has happened and what was best for the side," Hughes said. "I am happy to be where I am: 20 years old and in an Ashes series.

Prepared

"I am not thinking my tour is over, I am going to go into every game, and training session, preparing as though I am going to play. Because you just never know what could happen."

After Steve Harmison bounced him out in a warm-up match, much was made of Hughes' susceptibility to the short ball, and that pressure seemed to take its toll.

"Pressure is a word but what I want to do is play cricket for Australia," Hughes added.

"Going into South Africa, there was pressure there and you are in front of everyone's eyes at this level. But with an Ashes series there is a lot of talk, the media gets a hold of it and the whole world is watching."

Former Aussie openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden have been helping Hughes deal with the first real low point of his fledgling Test career.

Focus

"Personally they have been great to me, I will continue to speak to them, as they have said a few things on keeping focus," Hughes revealed.

"They have told me there are tough times around the corner, that this might just be one, and there could be many more to come.

"It is all ups and downs in this great game that we play."

As another thrilling series comes to a climax at the Oval, Hughes says the return of Andrew Flintoff will be a massive boost for England's flagging prospects.

"He has bowled beautifully throughout the whole series and personally I felt he bowled really well," Hughes said. "He is one of the best bowlers, if not the best, I have faced.

"South Africa come at you hard and bowl well as a unit but he is a great bowler."