Hughes gets Ponting's vote

Captain backing NSW opener to replace Katich

Last Updated: 08/12/10 8:00am

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Hughes: Has been backed by Ponting

Hughes: Has been backed by Ponting

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Australia captain Ricky Ponting has backed Phil Hughes to come into the side for the third Ashes Test in Perth.

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Australia are expected to make changes to their line-up following the innings defeat in Adelaide - but while Xavier Doherty and Marcus North are facing the axe, Simon Katich has been ruled out through injury.

That has opened the door for Hughes to return, with the Ponting backing the claims of the New South Wales batsman, who has averaged 51.25 from seven Tests.

"Phil Hughes is the first one that comes to mind," he said.

"We know what his international record is like. He's got a few runs under his belt so he's probably the first cab off the rank.

"I'd be surprised if it's not him that comes in.

"I'm not a selector. The chairman of selectors and I haven't spoken yet. I'm not sure what they're thinking. We'll have a good discussion."

Disappointed

Katich has been ruled out the remaining three Tests with an Achilles injury - and he admitted he is frustrated to have been sidelined.

"I'm obviously very disappointed. It will be hard not being a part of it," he said.

"Obviously in the field I was battling to move around so it didn't come as a huge surprise when I found out the results of the scans.

"I'm very disappointed with two games into the series to not be able to have a chance to try and turn things around with the team."

Although Hughes has got Ponting's vote to open the batting, Katich has claimed there is a number of players capable of coming into the side.

"I'm sure there's going to be plenty of other options for the selectors to replace me," said Katich.

"I'm sure there's someone else that will get an opportunity and take it. There are some very good candidates," he said.

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