Maybe if you’re very lucky this Christmas, you’ll get a gift that is so good, you simply don’t know what to do with it. That’s how we feel about Phil Hughes being caught by Martin Guptill off the bowling of Chris Martin for the fourth time in four innings. It’s so perfect, there’s really nothing to add.
We’ve heard of bowlers having a bunny before, but not fielders.
Picture the scene:
New Australia coach, Mickey Arthur, is wearing a Chris Martin mask. Phil Hughes is padded up with bat in hand and he’s standing in front of some stumps. Behind him, at an angle, is a life-size cut-out of Martin Guptill.
“Okay,” says Arthur. “In this drill, what you have to do is avoid being caught out by Martin Guptill. You can hit the ball in the air through 350 degrees, but if it goes in that sliver towards Guptill, you’re out. If you keep the ball on the floor, you can hit it anywhere. You can also leave it – and for the purposes of this drill, if the ball hits the stumps, you will not be considered out. All you have to do is not hit the ball in the air at Martin Guptill.”
Phil Hughes nods, with a slightly frightened look in his eye and gets into his stance. Mickey Arthur then gently underarms the ball to him, aiming at his legs. Hughes backs away and slices it into the middle of the Guptill cut-out. “Keep working at it,” cries Michael Clarke from somewhere nearby.