sport

Hughes in confident mood

Australia's Phil Hughes is confident he can make a better fist of his latest chance in Test cricket.

The 24-year-old was recalled for this week's first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart in place of the retired Ricky Ponting, and will look to improve on an average of 34.58.

His 32 Test innings to date have brought only three fifties and three hundreds, but Hughes has been in sparkling touch this summer, averaging 51.8 in the Sheffield Shield and 80.75 in one-dayers for his adopted state South Australia.

"The confidence is quite high at the moment," Hughes said. "It's nice getting runs behind you. Hopefully I can start off well in the first Test against Sri Lanka. I'm really excited about it. I can't wait to get in camp with the boys.

"Having that (Test) experience behind me, I'm a bit more relaxed about going into camp because I've been in that environment before."

Hughes' batting mentor Neil D'Costa said Hughes was a much-improved player, having worked on his technique when he was dropped after Australia's drawn Test series with New Zealand this time last year.

"Based on 10 to 15 Tests a year, I don't see any reason why Phil Hughes won't be a 10,000-run player for Australia," D'Costa, who helped Australia captain Michael Clarke work through a slump in the wake of the home Ashes loss in 2010-11, told News Limited.

"To me, the painting is not finished. Phil is not even close to being at the top of his game yet.

"The guy has just turned 24 and has 20 first-class centuries. How many other blokes his age in the game today can match that?

"I think of where he will be when he is 26 to 30 and the cricket world should be scared, because when Phil builds a complete game there will be no stopping him."