Big-hitting batsman Alex Hales can make a major impact in England’s one-day internationals against Australia early next year, believes Nottinghamshire’s assistant head coach, Mansfield’s Paul Franks.
The 28-year-old Hales has been called up to Eoin Morgan’s one-day squad for the five-match series that starts in Melbourne on January 14, having missed out on selection for this winter’s Ashes Test matches.
The Trent Bridge favourite averages an impressive 37.89 in 50-over cricket for England, with five centuries and ten fifties. And Franks is backing the man who powered Notts Outlaws to victory in the 2017 Royal London One-Day Cup Final at Lord’s with an imperious 187 not out against Surrey to come up with the goods again Down Under.
“With the way he’s played over the last two years, Alex is now one of the best one-day openers in the world,” he said. “He has really come of age in 50-over and Twenty20 cricket, and I don’t see why he can’t relish his time in Australia.”
After Melbourne, England play matches in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide before finishing in Perth on January 28. Franks is convinced Hales will slot in straight away, despite a shortage of competitive cricket since the end of the English season.
“Alex is the type of player who comes back very quickly,” said Franks. “He had a hand injury in India last year and then scored a hundred in his first innings back against West Indies, so I’m confident he’ll be ready. It won’t concern him too much because he is an instinctive player.”
Notts have been back in training since the early stages of November after their landmark 2017 domestic season, and Franks says Hales has been working as hard as anyone to put himself in the best possible place after seeing a proposed spell playing for Stellenbosch fall through when South Africa’s new Global League was postponed for 12 months.
“Alex’s work ethic has been excellent since our end-of-season break,” said Franks. “He is very clear in his mind about what he wants to achieve in the short and medium term and to be ready for his big challenge in Australia.
“He has been setting the standard for the rest of the group, particularly the younger players who look up to him in the way he goes about his training and practice. I’m really pleased for him that he’s got the call-up, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he will go out there.”