In just his second Test match, he made a hundred against South Africa at the age of 20 years 96 days, becoming the youngest centurion for Australia after Doug Walters in 1965. In the second innings of the match, he scored another hundred and became the youngest-ever batter to score a hundred in each innings of a Test match.
On his ODI debut, he scored a hundred against Sri Lanka at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Before him, no Australian batter had scored a hundred on ODI debut.
The talent he possessed was unquestionable. He was a beautiful batter to watch when on song. He was very strong, especially square of the wicket on the off-side. But teams soon found out his weakness and started testing him with short balls and bumpers.
25 November 2014. He was trying to work his way back into the Australia Test squad. His vulnerability against the short ball was well-known. A Sean Abbott bouncer hit him on the neck which caused vertebral artery dissection leading to subarachnoid haemorrhage. The Australian team doctor confirmed that it was the first such case as a result of being hit by a cricket ball.
He had to undergo surgery but never regained consciousness and passed away on this day in 2014.
A Test average of 32, an ODI average of 35 and a first-class average of 45 cannot tell how much talent this man had. In his last professional innings, Philip Joel Hughes was not out on 63.
And he continues to remain not out.