Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan © Getty Images
Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan © Getty Images

Alex Hales and Ben Stokes have both been named in England’s 16-man squad for the ODIs against Australia. Both of them were restricted from international games because of involvement in a late-night fight outside a Bristol nightclub. However, Stokes’ participation will be decided by Crown Prosecution Service.

Now that they have been selected, England’s ODI captain Eoin Morgan told ESPNCricinfo how happy he is to have Hales back.

“I’m very confident he’ll be able to move on. I think that’s dictated by the performances he puts in and the hard work he puts in, but I’ve no doubt his head is in the right space to do that.”

“It’s very pleasing to have Alex back, when the news broke it was going to be a boost to the squad in what I think will be a tough series in the New Year and that starts off 2018 for us, which will be quite a significant year for us in growing what we’ve established as a team, and he remains a vital part of that.

Jason Roy took Hales’ spot in the last two ODIs after the latter was suspended. Roy had lost his spot during the Champions Trophy, but he scored 84 and 96 after replacing Hales. Jonny Bairstow, after being pushed to the opening slot, has scored 345 runs at 115 in 6 matches. This keeps Hales in doubt to be in the playing eleven.

“It’s never easy when you’ve been dropped to come back in and score runs and it’s quite evident that when he does he’s a dominant force at the top of the order. Performances like that always create an interesting conversation in selection – it’s done that for two years now and it’s epitomised the hunger to get into the XI. It’s been difficult at times but it’s a pleasure to play in such a strong XI,” Morgan concluded.