Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England batsman Eoin Morgan believes that Twenty20 opener Alex Hales is “like nobody else we have around” and has the potential to thrive in all three formats of the game.
Hales, who is the only England batsman to score a century in a Twenty20 International, is likely to be included in the ODI squad for the five-match series against India. With that being said, it is also likely that Hales will make his ODI debut on August 25 in Bristol.
It was Hales’ unbelievable knock of 141 off 96 balls in a Royal London Cup match against Middlesex that really enabled Morgan to witness just how destructive of a force he could be.
“He’s unbelievably destructive and stakes a huge claim to be selected in all three formats,” Morgan told ESPNcricinfo. “His form at county level has been phenomenal and he’s like nobody else we have around, with the combination of how hard he strikes the ball and the ability to take the game away from opposition.
“I’ve witnessed Championship form against him and he was very impressive. It was the first time I’d seen him in Championship cricket and to see where he has come from since the start of the season when he had to go to Worcestershire on loan is a huge credit to him. He has ridden the wave in recent weeks.”
However, the one question that will be on everyone’s mind is whether the national selectors are willing to break up the Alastair Cook-Ian Bell opening partnership to make space for Hales.
“We are building for a World Cup in Australia and New Zealand were a par score will be 300-320 on the majority of grounds but before that we have the series against India, in English conditions, where going hell for leather up front just would not be helpful at all,” Morgan said. “You take a lot of risks with the conditions [in England] and two new balls.
“We’ve had a formula that has worked in England and now we need to find a balance between having success here and also winning in Australia.”
Morgan is also glad that England will be allowed to solely focus on ODI cricket from now until the start of the 2015 World Cup.
“It’s fantastic, really. An ideal lead into the World Cup,” he said. “It puts great emphasis onto one-day cricket and it gives a great opportunity to build a squad that is good enough to win a World Cup.
“It’s an opportunity we haven’t had in quite a long time. With that, though, comes a lot of expectation and rightly so. We’ve a fantastic squad of players and the one-day series in Australia during the winter was a great learning curve and gave us a chance what we need squad-wise and attributes-wise for a side to be successful in those conditions.
“I think conditions will suit us. The batting wickets are some of the best in the world and I don’t think the bounce is alien to us at all. During that one-day series we had chances to win but there were just areas of the game, and moments within them, that we lost at crucial moments. The fact we made the mistakes then gives us the chance to correct them.”