Mark Waugh anoints Phillip Hughes as Australia’s new opener

Mark Waugh anoints Phillip Hughes as Australia’s new openerSydney, Jan. 15 : Former Australian Test great Mark Waugh believes 20-year-old Phillip Hughes is the man who should take the opener's slot in the Australian squad.

Waugh said a fit and firing 20-year-old Hughes was worth the gamble, instead of Phillip Jacques, for the tour to South Africa.

"You could go either way but if you wanted a younger guy you''d go with Hughes," Fox Sports quoted Waugh, who played 128 Tests and was arguably one of the country''s greatest fielders, as saying.

"Jaques hasn''t played a lot of Tests and hasn''t done anything wrong, but I would be inclined to take the gamble and pick Hughes. He looks a young tough player who puts a high price on his wicket and can score runs in tough conditions like he did in Tasmania earlier this season when he scored more than half of NSW''s runs in two innings," added Waugh.

Jaques has been sidelined with a back injury since the start of the summer and will play club cricket this weekend before a return for NSW on January 30 in Newcastle.

Waugh said the time spent away from the game was not ideal ahead of a tough tour against a rejuvenated South Africa.

"I''m assuming they''ll take another opener to England so you''d have both Hughes and Jaques over there and, for that reason, I wouldn''t rush Jaques back (too early)," Waugh said.

Jaques already seems to be the No. 1 candidate and has an impressive average of 47 from 11 Tests, which includes the last-start century he hit against the West Indies in Barbados.

Hughes, however, has again blasted his way into contention on the domestic scene with 658 runs at an average of 59.81. (ANI)