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London: Aug 24, 2014
England captain Alastair Cook does not expect his role in the one-day set-up to change should he find himself opening alongside Alex Hales rather than Ian Bell during the upcoming series with world champions India. Fresh from their 3-1 Test success against the tourists, England face India in the first of five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) at Bristol on Monday as both sides continue their preparations ahead of next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
England have called up dynamic opener Hales, who has already scored a Twenty20 international hundred. Concerns have been expressed that a combination of Cook and Bell, whose one-day strike rate is 76, means England routinely make too slow a start with the bat in the 50-over game. But there are hopes Hales can be the man to make sure England make the most of the field restrictions in the opening overs given his strike-rate of close to a 100.
However, Cook said Sunday: “I don’t think it changes my role. The job of the top four or five is to try and score a hundred, and win the game by setting up the game. You have to try and do it in your way. I have got to convert starts into scores. That’s the job of an opener. When you win one-day matches, it’s a common theme one of the top four or five has scored a hundred.”
He added: “It’s nice to know we’ve got different options, and we’ll look at them over the next few months. So that when we come to the World Cup, we’re very clear on what we think our best side will be.”
“He is a fantastic batsman. He is a tall guy so he has a different reach,” Indian captain MS Dhoni said of Hales. “He also plays the spinners well. It will be a good acquisition for the English side.” As for what India needed to do following their Test humbling, Dhoni said, “We have to stand up, take responsibility and back each other up. That will change the tough times we have had to successful times.”
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