Alex Hales © Getty Images (File Photo)
Alex Hales © Getty Images (File Photo)

Alex Hales, the explosive England opener, who has been in tremendous form this season, has been ruled out of the first ODI against India at Trent Bridge due to a side injury. With Ben Stokes making a comeback to the ODI side and Joe Root almost certain to play, Alex Hales could have been left out. The injury, thus, solved some selectors’ dilemma. Uncapped Dawid Malan has been called in as cover in the squad.

Hales had scored a scintillating 147 off 92 balls against Australia last month at Trent Bridge in England’s record-breaking effort of 481 for 6. In fact, he averages 88.20 in the 6 ODIs he has played here and boasts of an impressive strike rate of 138.2. His best score, 171, came against Pakistan during another world record team score of 444 for 3 at the very same ground in 2016. That should have ideally secured his place for him as an opener going into the first match but for the occurence of this injury.

Hales also played a crucial knock of 58 in the second T20I at Cardiff against India and helped secure an England win their only match of the series. From 65 ODI games, Hales has scored 2,302 runs at an average of 38.36.