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Katich ruled out of tour as Phillip Hughes comes in to open

| 08.12.2010

Phillip Hughes has been tasked with the job of turning around Australia’s fortunes after Simon Katich was ruled out of the series with an Achilles injury.

Hughes will partner Shane Watson at the start of the innings as Australia look to recover from their second Test defeat, and the opener is now part of a side that is as big as 5/1 to win the Ashes.

Ricky Ponting knows that his side have it all to do if he is to avoid his third Ashes defeat as captain, and the Australian selectors are currently considering the positions of Marcus North, Xavier Doherty, Peter Siddle and Doug Bollinger.

Usman Khawaja, Nathan Hauritz and Steve Smith are all in contention for an Ashes call-up, but Hughes, who has featured in just two Test matches for Australia this year, is a definite for the third Test.

Hughes has only featured in two Tests against England averaging just 19 runs, but the Australian opener has an impressive career average of 51.25 and may cause England a few problems on the Perth wicket.

With Mike Hussey and Shane Watson the only batsman in the top order who are in any sort of form, Hughes looks a decent price at 5/1 to be Australia’s top first innings runscorer, but Hussey is also 5/1 and he is by far the best of the Australian batsman.

The Australian selectors have a job to do picking a side that is capable of beating an England team that are high in confidence, and the Australians are 7/4 to win the third Test while England are favourites at 6/4.

Australia have three matches left in the series to turn around the 1-0 deficit and while England may be high in confidence at the minute, the Australian’s should be written off at your peril.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.