Test debutant Hughes puts his hand up to face Steyn and Co first

Phillip HughesPotchefstroom (South Africa), Feb. 20 : Young New South Wales opener Phillip Hughes has put his hand up to face South African fast bowler Dale Steyn and company first in the Johannesburg Test next week.

The 20-year-old has told his opening partner Simon Katich he wants to put his nerves to the test by taking strike for the first delivery against South Africa''s pace ace Dale Steyn.

"The young bloke put his hand up for it so he''s definitely got it," Katich said on Thursday in Potchefstroom.

"We did a bit of negotiating, and I said, I would do the short-leg duties for him, so it comes with a pretty good trade-off. He''s not fond of getting in there," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Katich, as saying.

Katich is confident his fellow Blues left-hander can dominate international attacks like he has in Australia, where Hughes has plundered 1570 runs at 60.38 in 17 matches.

Katich is not ruling out an occasional bear hug with Hughes to celebrate batting milestones.

"Yeah, I would have to bend down a little bit to get him because he''s a little bit shorter than I am, but we''ve struck up a pretty good relationship in the last 12 months being in the NSW side together," Katich said.

Katich, 33, says he doesn''t feel the need to pass on his experience of 35 Tests to Hughes.

"Even though he''s so young what I''ve seen from him in the past 12 months is that there is a maturity that regardless of the situation he gets out there and does what he''s used to doing," Katich said.

Hughes will next week become Australia''s youngest Test debutant since Craig McDermott in 1984. (ANI)