Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England Twenty20 superstar Alex Hales has been included in the ODI squad for the upcoming five-match series against India, which gets underway on August 25 in Bristol.
Hales, who has yet to make his ODI debut, has been in red-hot form as of late as he has scored centuries against Sussex and Middlesex in the Royal London Cup while representing Nottinghamshire. He also made an unbeaten 102 in a County Championship match against Northamptonshire on August 15. In addition to that, he smashed an entertaining 101 while playing for the England Lions in a List A match against Sri Lanka A at Taunton.
There were two major names dropped from the ODI squad for the series. The first is pace bowler Stuart Broad, who is undergoing knee surgery, and the second is all-rounder Ravi Bopara.
Bopara’s form in ODIs this year has been mediocre at best. While he usually doesn’t have a set position in England’s batting line-up, that doesn’t excuse him from averaging 23.70 after 13 matches. Even the seven wickets he took came at an average of 41.57, which is dismal considering how good of a bowler he can be.
All-rounder Moeen Ali, who was dropped for the ODI series against Sri Lanka in May, and Ben Stokes have been drafted back into the side.
“With the World Cup now less than six months away our focus over the coming months switches to identifying our strongest possible squad for that competition,” England national selector, James Whitaker, said. “However this is an important series in its own right and we have selected 15 players who we believe will perform well against an Indian side with a strong one day record.
“This series presents an opportunity for players to build on their international and domestic form and demonstrate that they have the ability to win games of cricket for England. With plenty of domestic limited overs cricket still to be played this season and a series against Sri Lanka in November before finalising our World Cup squad there are still opportunities for us to consider a number of players who have missed out on selection.”
England ODI squad: Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes