Melbourne: Struggling Australian batsman Phil Hughes' batting mentor has lashed out at Cricket Australia for denying his ward preparation time ahead of his maiden India Test tour. Neil D'Costa, Hughes' batting coach, claimed that he emailed the CA before the Indian tour requesting one-on-one time to educate Hughes on sub-continental conditions foreign to the left-hander.
D'Costa had previously worked with Test trio Michael Clarke, Mitchell Starc and Moises Henriques. He also has good understanding of Indian conditions, spending two years as head coach of Nagpur's VCA Academy between 2009-11. He said the CA chiefs rejected his proposal, citing a lack of time in a hectic playing schedule to free up opportunities for Hughes to work with his batting mentor.
"I sent CA an email saying I'd like to see Phil for a period to help prepare him for India. Unfortunately, through Cricket Australia's great wisdom, that didn't happen. They said there wasn't time in the schedule for it and it would have to be within the team framework," D'Costa said.
"I said OK, 'can you let me know a timeframe', and they never got back to me. Then they were off to India. It's ridiculous," he was quoted as saying by 'Courier Mail'.
"There are tactics and certain drills that can help you succeed in India. You can't bat in India like you bat in Australia. You need to look after a player's mental health as well. I had a program for Phil to work on. I wanted to put some strategies in place, and talk about each ground he would play at and basically set him up."
The 24-year-old Hughes has endured a nightmare trip, scoring 25 runs at an average of 6.25, and risks being dropped for the third time in his career for the third Test at Mohali starting on March 14. He has struggled on spinning decks in Chennai and Hyderabad, making 6, 0, 19, 0.