PHIL HUGHES cracked a match-winning 74 off 48 balls to help guide the Adelaide Strikers to a six-wicket victory over the Perth Scorchers at the WACA Ground on Sunday.
Chasing 163 for victory, the Strikers reached 4-164 with four balls to spare.
Hughes has been in sparkling touch this summer, averaging 51.8 in the Sheffield Shield ranks and 80.75 in one-dayers for his adopted state South Australia.
The 24-year-old played the last of his 17 Tests a year ago.
But after making a minor technical tweak to his batting during the off-season and piling on a mountain of runs, Hughes is confident he can make the most of his third Test coming.
“The confidence is quite high at the moment,” Hughes said.
“It’s nice getting runs behind you. Hopefully I can start off well in the first Test against Sri Lanka.
“I’m really excited about it.
“I can’t wait to get in camp with the boys.
“Having that (previous Test) experience behind me, I’m a bit more relaxed about going into camp because I’ve been in that environment before.”
Meanwhile, Scorchers opener Shaun Marsh is facing an uphill battle to play against the Melbourne Stars on Wednesday after injuring his hamstring while batting against the Strikers.
Marsh, who returned to form with 57 off 45 balls, will undergo a scan on his right hamstring on Monday, although the Scorchers’ medical staff are confident it’s not a serious injury.
Scorchers coach Justin Langer said he was pleased to see Marsh hit a big score after a tumultuous year for the left-hander.
“I knew it was just a matter of time for him,” Langer said of Marsh, who was briefly dropped from Western Australia’s Shield and one-day sides earlier this season.
“He’s been preparing well. He played well in the practice matches during the week. It was nice to see him make some runs.”
Former Scorchers skipper Marcus North is set to replace Mike Hussey (Test duties) for the clash with Shane Warne’s Stars at the WACA.
By Justin Chadwick