Alex Hales India England ODI 2018
Alex Hales © Getty Images (file photo)

Alex Hales has been ruled out of the ODI series against India as per an ECB announcement. Hales already missed the first ODI at Trent Bridge, his home ground, due to a side strain he sustained while batting in the nets. The uchapped Dawid Malan, who was drafted in as temporary replacement for Hales, will be retained for at least the second ODI at Lord’s — Malan’s home ground.

“Alex Hales has a torn left side strain, he will be out for three to four weeks and misses the rest of the series,” announced ECB.

Hales has had an excellent summer, the highlight being 148 against Australia when England smashed a world record 481 for 6 against Australia. He also seemed to be the only English batsman at home against Kuldeep Yadav, England’s wrecker-in-chief, when he shepherded an English chase in the second T20I, at Cardiff.

On the other hand, Hales’s injury solves some sort of conundrum for the selectors. Their top six — Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, and Jos Buttler — are certain to play the rest of the series. However, that should be the least of England’s concerns: their sessions with Merlyn, the bowling machine, has definitely not helped them sort out their batting woes against Kuldeep.