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Australia drop Hughes as rain delays start of third Test

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-30

A string of poor showings has cost opening batsman Phil Hughes (right) his place in the Australian squad for the third Test against England. Torrential rain has soaked the ground at Edgbaston, delaying the start of play on Thursday.

AFP - Australia batsman Phillip Hughes announced Thursday he'd been dropped from the side to play England in the third Ashes Test on his own Twitter page.
   
Hughes was dropped after a run of low scores and struggles against short-pitched fast bowling during the first two Tests of the series.
   
The 20-year-old left-handed opener managed 36 in the drawn first Test in Cardiff and scores of four and 17 in England's 115-run victory at Lord's, which put them 1-0 up in the five-match series with three to play.
   
According to a report in the Australian newspaper, Hughes's place is set to be taken by Shane Watson, even though the all-rounder has never batted higher than No 6 in a Test match.
   
"Disappointed not to be on the field with the lads today, will be supporting the guys, it's a BIG test match 4 us," Hughes wrote on his Twitter page.
   
"Thanks 4 all the support!"
   
Hughes burst on to the international scene this year with hundreds in both innings of his second Test, against South Africa in Durban.
   
Last weekend Watson, whose international career has been blighted by injuries, scored 84 and 50 in the tour match against Northamptonshire.
   
But in eight Tests he has scored just 257 runs at a low average of under 20.
   
Watson's last four Test innings have all ended in single figure scores.
   
Hughes had a superb tour of South Africa (scoring 415 Test runs at 69.16) and had a prolific stint with county side Middlesex earlier in the English season when he scored 574 runs at 143.50.
   
He scored those runs in just five innings, including three centuries as he surpassed Australia great Don Bradman's start to a maiden first-class season in England - 566 runs in five innings in 1930.
   
However, there is still a chance Hughes could play at Edgbaston.
   
Rain delayed the scheduled 10:30am local time (0930GMT) toss and as captains are not obliged to name their sides until the toss, Australia still have the option of retaining Hughes.

Date created : 2009-07-30

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