Hughes to score some Australian runs to stave off Ashes loss

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Having hit some runs in Australia’s tour match against Sussex, Phil Hughes looks as good a bet as any to be his country’s top first innings run scorer when the Ashes series resumes at Old Trafford.

Only a freak showing from Ashton Agar at Trent Bridge prevented Hughes from claiming the accolade in the opening Test, where he finished unbeaten on 81. He’s available to back at 6/1 with Ladbrokes.

Following a monster knock of 193 playing for Australia A in South Africa, it was rumoured that David Warner could be in line to take Hughes’ place in the line up for the third Test, one the Aussies must win to prevent series defeat.

However, with so many of their top order in awful touch, singling Hughes out would be a little harsh, especially with the likes of Ed Cowan having failed to put any meaningful runs on the board on the tour to date.

It’s fair to argue that a player who has only added two runs in his past three innings since his opening score of 81 deserves to be dropped, but Hughes – who was promoted from number six to four off the back of that performance – recently celebrated a good knock at Hove and has also experienced churning out big totals on the turning Old Trafford wicket.

His 84 was a key contribution to his country’s total of 366-5 and should be enough to see him included in the line up for their must-win encounter in Manchester.

In addition to that, he’s also helped himself to a triple digit score on this track in a List A clash when playing for Worcestershire, bagging 104 on his only visit to the ground in a form of the game longer than one day.

Should his country stick by him, his runs could prove key in this all-important Test match. Australia are massive 9/2 underdogs to win the third instalment of the series.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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