Home > Features >

Alex Hales’ inclusion a positive move by England for ODI series against India

Alex Hales' inclusion wil © Getty Images
Alex Hales’ inclusion will add the much needed aggression at the top of the England batting © Getty Images

Alex Hales has been in scorching form recently, and his inclusion in England’s squad for the upcoming One-Day International (ODI) series against India provides some much-needed firepower at the top of the order for England. Shiamak Unwalla looks at the man who has fought hard to overcome the “T20 specialist” tag.

There have been few English batsmen since Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen that can be thought of as “big-hitters.” In recent times, the core of England’s batting has revolved around touch players — who are more known for their timing than sheer adrenalin-pumping fast-paced run-scoring — from Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott, Alastair Cook, and Ian Bell to the new guns like Gary Ballance and Joe Root.

Jos Buttler is perhaps the one batsman in the English line-up who can boast of natural aggression, but even he bats no higher than No 6. It is for this reason that the inclusion of Alex Hales in England’s squad for the ODI series against India is such a refreshing change.

However, to call Hales merely a basher would be doing him a tremendous disservice; while he may have made a name for himself as a T20 star, his recent form for Nottinghamshire — he has scored three back-to-back hundreds, and four tons in seven games — shows that he is more than capable of playing a long innings at the top of the order.

Hales has scored 2,815 runs in 81 List A games with eight centuries and 13 fifties at an  average of 36.55 and a tremendous strike rate of 100.28. In contrast, England’s regular opener and captain Alastair Cook has scored 4,913 runs in 139 List A games with nine tons and 30 half-centuries at a marginally better average of 38.68 but a far inferior strike rate of 79.61.

Hales has said that he wants to break free of his “T20 specialist” image on multiple occasions. In one instance , he said, “I think my reputation has always been as a bit of a dasher, a 20-over specialist, but I think I have shown the selectors this year that I can build an innings… I feel in a good spot and hopefully I can take that red-ball form into the 50-over stuff.”

Hales clearly cares about Test and One-Day cricket, and that means that he will not let an opportunity like this go begging, especially with the 2015 ICC World Cup just around the corner. If he can find his feet in ODIs by the time the England selectors take a final call on the World Cup squad, it could be good news for both Hales and England cricket. One feels that with Hales at the top and Buttler in the middle order, the traditionally sedate England side will find some much-needed explosiveness.

Catch all the coverage of India’s tour to England here

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Hosts hope to return to winning ways

Kepler Wessels suprised with Jesse Ryder’s inclusion in New Zealand squad

Younis Khan deserves to be in 2015 World Cup squad, says Zaheer Abbas

Misbah-ul-Haq supports polio drive launched by UNICEF

Pakistan on top against Australia at Lunch on Day 3 despite David Warner century

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Happy New Year box office: Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone’s film off to a flying start!

Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues, reports $950 million Q3 net profit

‘Kaththi’ mints Rs.15.4 crore on release day

Google partners Oxford University to teach machines to think

Rashami Desai, Ravi Dubey, Tina Dutta wish to have a pet friendly Diwali!

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Happy New Year movie review: Crafted to please Shah Rukh Khan fans

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here