Daniel Hughes has a pretty simple secret behind the production of one of the most outstanding, and potentially under-recognised, one-day records in Australian cricket.
On Thursday night, on his 34th birthday, the NSW opener bashed out a fourth century in just six games this season, taking his average to 87 to go with a career average of 60.
It was his 10th one-day hundred for the Blues in just his 38th game and knocked out in front of national selection chief George Bailey.
Hughes became just the third player in the competition’s history to make four hundreds in a season, and he has another four games left to make it five, which would be a first.
To amplify what a stunning record Hughes has, his haul of 10 one-day hundreds for NSW is twice the amount any other player has scored for the state, which has produced some of the greatest batters in Australian history.
His innings of 126 in a big win over Tasmania on Thursday at North Sydney Oval came as Bailey prepares to pick a squad for an upcoming ODI series in India.
The potential for some new names, with the bulk of the ODI team engaged in a four-Test series, could be high, and at the peak of his powers, Hughes could finally get to make an international debut.
He’s the only player among the seven to have scored 10 or more domestic one-day centuries not to play for Australia, and he hoped his efforts got Bailey’s attention.
“I haven’t had a word to Bails, no. I’ve scored the runs, now it’s up to him,” Hughes said.
He has plundered more than 6000 first-class runs for NSW since his debut in 2013 and has eight Sheffield Shield centuries to go with his 10 in the one-day game
But not only has he never played for Australia, he’s never been named in an Australian squad.
Hughes has the second most amount of one-day runs for NSW, moving past 2000 on Thursday night.
He put his success against the white ball down to one key thing.
“I’m a pretty simple guy and keep things pretty simple out there,” he said.
“Simple game plan, pretty basic to be honest. I don’t take too many risks.
“I’ve just kept that sort of mindset throughout one-day cricket, take a risk when it’s in your favour, and when it’s not, take your medicine and get a one. That’s been my blueprint and it’s going well.”
Australia plays 11 one-day internationals before the World Cup begins in October, with six taking place in India (three in March, three in September) and five in South Africa.
DANIEL HUGHES 100s in 2022-23
117 v Victoria
139 v South Australia
101 v Tasmania
126 v Tasmania
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