Alex Hales admits that his decision to miss the Bangladesh tour was a risk    Getty Images
Alex Hales admits that his decision to miss the Bangladesh tour was a risk Getty Images

England batsman Alex Hales has acknowledged the England management and selectors for his outstanding performance against West Indies in Barbados. Hales scored 110 runs from 107 balls as England thrashed the hosts by 186 runs in Barbados to seal a 3-0 series win. His innings earned him the Man of the Match title in the final One-day International (ODI). After a poor Test series against Pakistan, he was dropped from the Test side. He was injured during the second ODI against India at Cuttack in January, breaking a finger on his right hand while fielding. Later, he opted out from the limited-overs series in Bangladesh citing security reasons. Meanwhile Sam Billings who went in as his replacement, made two eye-catching half-centuries in the absence of Hales. This made his comeback look bleak. LIVE Cricket Scorecard: West Indies vs England, 3rd ODI at Barbados

Hales admits that his decision to miss the Bangladesh tour was a risk. But he is grateful to the management’s faith in him to select him after his immediate recovery from the injury. Earlier, he was not considered fit for selection. It was only after he completed his rehab with the tour party in Antigua, he was officially added to the squad, just a couple of days before the final game.

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Hales said, “It was encouraging that they stuck with me. It was obviously my choice not to tour Bangladesh and it gave the opportunity for other people to come in and do well. That was a risk I knew I was taking and the injury then came at a bad time for me. I missed the boat in India. I ran myself out in the first ODI in India and then batted with a broken hand in the second one. Karma didn’t treat me very well. It’s been a tough winter.”

“But the team have backed me and stuck with me and hopefully I’ve repaid their faith.” Hales added.

He repaid the faith shown in him with an innings that helped set up a crushing 186-run win and 3-0 series whitewash. Hales had shown a lot of maturity and impressed everyone with his batting against spinners in tough conditions, scoring runs in the most crucial moments of the game.

Hales does not want to give up Test cricket. Though his chances of returning to Test as an opening batsman are bleak, he aims to play in the middle-order. He hopes to return to the middle order with Nottinghamshire in the County Championship next season. This may help earn him a place in the middle order of England’s Test side.

“The middle order is somewhere I’ve always eyed up. But in my younger days at Notts, when you’ve got Mark Wagh, Stephen Fleming, David Hussey and Samit Patel there, it’s quite tough to get into that middle order. So I had to open to get into that Notts team and it became the same with the England team. They had Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen; the opening spot was again the place to target.”

“So throughout my career I’ve had to bat at the top of the order to make the step up, but now I’ve had that taste and not done as well as I would have liked to it gives me something else to focus on. I’m going to give it everything this summer and see what happens.” Hales concluded.

If Hales continues with his form, he may have a positive future to look up to, perhaps a place in middle order of England Test squad as he wishes.