Cricket
THE MATT MASON COLUMN

By Matt Mason 23/05 Updated: 25/05 06:57

Buy photos » Farewell - Michael Klinger on his way to 67 against Sussex during his last innings for Worcestershire. Picture by Ian Smith.

WE'RE all looking forward to welcoming Phil Hughes to New Road this week and seeing him perform against his former club Middlesex in the Clydesdale Bank 40 on Sunday.

Phil had a very good run of form when he played for Middlesex last year and we know he has the ability in first class cricket to score big hundreds.

It was sad though to see Mike Klinger leave us at the weekend because he slotted into the dressing room really well but he knows Phil and says he's a lovely lad who will fit in just as well as he did.

I think a lot of guys like Phil that come here and have had a taste of international cricket use their stints in county cricket to keep their name up in lights with their international team selectors.

I know the Australians are over here for some one day cricket at the same time Phil is so he'll be determined to get some runs under his belt and silence his critics and doubters.

When you step up to Test cricket you obviously face some of the best bowling attacks in the world and any chink in your armour will be exploited, as it was with Phil.

There is no doubt he has had some technical difficulties in the area around off stump and the short ball but the Australian cricket board have recognised his great talent and rather than just let him go they have encouraged him to get better, to work at it and put him in the recent Cricket Australia camp.

They are investing time and effort in him so he should take that as a massive positive.

Phil is a little bit unorthodox and we have seen how players like that can be difficult to bowl at and a lot of the Division One attacks won't have seen much of him so he's going to have an advantage for sure at the top of the order.

Qualifying for the next round of the CB40 is going to be very difficult because of the way the group stages work.

You almost have to go through the whole run undefeated so it's going to be a tough job for us.

But the main thing for us is we want to see big improvements in our one day cricket because we have been disappointing in recent years.

We want to get back to those dizzy heights which saw us win the title in 2007 and that means having a young, energetic squad with plenty of life in the field, bowlers executing their one day skills very well and batters being aggressive and positive.

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