Ponting, who retired from international cricket last year after 168 Tests, believes both players warrant their places and feels Hughes, in particular, has been harshly treated.
     
The 24-year-old has already been axed three times and been shuffled up and down the order.
     
"He is clearly our best young batsman in the country," Ponting told Australian Associated Press, referring to Hughes, on the current one-day tour of India but missing from the Test team since July.
     
"The guy knows how to bat. He knows how to score runs. And he's just the sort of character that you love to have around your team,” he said.
     
"He would be somebody that I would give a spot in the order and let him go about making that his own... if you give him a bit of love and a bit of stability around his game, I'm sure he'll come good," he added.
     
Ponting has previously been critical of selectors chopping and changing Australia's batting line-up and has urged them to "pick and stick" with a top six.

(Agencies)

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