Sydney, Mar 7 (ANI): Beleaguered Phil Hughes is all set to receive a devastating third axe of his career from the Australian Test team after struggling for runs during the first two Test matches against India, and the left-handed batsman is set to be replaced by Usman Khawaja in the top order.
Australia coach Mickey Arthur has all but conceded there must be at least one batting casualty following the shambolic collapse that led to their innings defeat against India in Hyderabad, News.com.au reports.
According to reports out-of-sorts Shane Watson will be given a stay of execution for the third Test, which begins in Mohali next Thursday, but Hughes appears to be in the firing line following skipper Michael Clarke's decision to promote himself up the order to stabilise a teetering top-order.
Khawaja is the shadow batsman on this tour and Arthur said the selection panel comprising himself Clarke and Rod Marsh must now seriously look at a shake-up of the batting order.
Arthur added Khawaja and Steve Smith have got to come into the reckoning at some stage, adding they have more of the same it will probably give them the same result.
Arthur further said they would be silly if they didn't think about them, adding whether they both play, whether one plays, whether none plays he is not 100 per cent sure, but they've got to come very much into our thinking.
Arthur said until the guys learn the harsh lessons of getting out and possibly losing their place because of it, they're not going to realise it.
The likely dumping of Hughes would be a crushing blow for the 24-year-old, who was first axed during the 2009 Ashes and again in 2011 after a horror series against New Zealand. (ANI)