Hughes hopes for SA series dashed

The chairman of selectors says none of the Australia 'A' lineup are likely to feature in the first Test.

Australia's Phillip Hughes bats on the second day of the cricket match between Australian Chairmans XI and India at Manuka Oval in Canberra on 20 December, 2011. Picture: AFP/ Mark Graham

MELBOURNE - Phillip Hughes' hopes of getting back into Australia Test side for the series against South Africa, suffered a blow on Friday, after the opening batsman was named in an Australian 'A' team to take on the Proteas in a tour match in Sydney.

Chairman of selectors, John Inverarity, told reporters that none of the Australia 'A' lineup for the three-day match starting next week were likely to feature in the first Test starting in Brisbane on 9 November.

"We had a long discussion about that but in the end we thought we'd separate it and we'd keep the test team and they would play their Shield matches and then we'd assemble in Brisbane on the Sunday," Inverarity said, referring to the concurrent Sheffield Shield domestic championship.

"And we'd have the Australian 'A' team that didn't contain any of the players, or the intention of any players - I mean, there could be injuries and then it could change.

"But the intention is that none of the Australia 'A' players at this stage will be in that (test) squad."

Lefthander Hughes scored a pair of centuries in a stunning test debut against South Africa in 2009, but struggled to cement his place and was dropped after a poor series against New Zealand last year.

Hughes, 23, whose struggles with short-pitched bowling have seen him dumped from the national side twice, had been in impressive form for adopted state South Australia.

Four-test allrounder Andrew McDonald will captain the Australia 'A' side which also features former test wicketkeeper Tim Paine and allrounder Steve Smith.

Allrounder Mitchell Marsh was scratched from selection for the tour match after breaching team discipline with domestic Twenty20 side Perth Scorchers after having a night out in South Africa during the Champions League tournament.

South Africa, number one in the ICC test rankings, play three tests in Australia with matches in Adelaide and Perth following the opener at the Gabba.

Australia 'A' team:

Andrew McDonald (c), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Liam Davis, Alex Doolan, John Hastings, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Rob Quiney, Steve Smith