On spinning Indian tracks, Phillip Hughes will have to shoulder a lot of batting responsibility. On Monday, the 24-year-old South Australian flew out of Melbourne with Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson and Xavier Doherty as part of advance party for the four-Test series against India, starting February 22.
Banking on his splendid form over the course of the Australian summer, Hughes - with over 1000 runs from 20 international Tests - said he is looking forward to the challenges of playing quality Indian spin.
"I feel very confident about my game. I am going there with some runs behind me which is always a plus. I have never played Test match cricket there (in India) and so, I am looking forward to getting there," said the batsman whose domestic form earned him a recall for the Test series in Sri Lanka and the ODI/T20 series at home against West Indies.
Considered one of the brightest prospects in the current Australian side, Hughes earned an upgraded Cricket Australia contract last month and will now look to justify it with success against a dominant Indian team at home.
"They (Indian team) have got all bases covered with their spinners, going in and away from the bat, so it's going to be challenging," he said, adding he has even spoken to Michael Clarke about the conditions. "I spoke to Michael and I feel he is one of the best players of spin bowling. It's good talking to guys like that to see how they combat (Indian) conditions."
The 'combat' may truly test this batsman who has the distinction of being the first Australian to slam an ODI ton on debut - against Sri Lanka in Melbourne last month.
With Harbhajan Singh recalled to the Indian side for the opening two Tests, it may not be a bed of roses on Indian tracks for Hughes and his fellow batsmen. The left-hander though has taken key-notes from England's tour here last year.
"You see that a number of times in Indian conditions that batsmen do get big scores. It can be tough with the spin but I've looked at a lot of footage from the series that England were there and there were a couple of wickets that were extremely flat and guys went on and got big scores, and a couple of other wickets were very challenging, where they brought on spin very early and it turned," said Hughes.
The first Test will be played in Chennai.