Alex Hales has EARNED his chance to represent England in the 2022 Cricket World Cup and England Cricket fans must get on board with this decision
In this article, I will argue for Alex Hales and his inclusion over Will Jacks, Tom Banton, Joe Root and Will Smeed. There is much controversy over this topic considering his ‘sacking’ before the 2019 ODI World Cup but he is the best man for the top for a number of reasons.
Reason One: He is in-form
- Alex Hales scored 259 runs in The Hundred, 5th behind Dawid Malan and Phil Salt (in the squad) and Adam Lyth and Will Jacks (who missed out) but he did lead his Trent Rockets side to the trophy.
- He was also the top scorer in the 2020-2021 Big Bash and has impressed with decent scores of 70+ this year.
Reason 2: He has experience
- Alex Hales has played 60 T20Is and scored 1644 @31.0. His strike rate across these innings is 136.7 which is better than the other experienced choice, Joe Root (126.3).
- Hales has played in the 2012 and 2016 World Cups and was particularly impressed in 2012 alongside the man he is replacing Jonny Bairstow.
Reason 3: He is driven and hungry for it
- This is not to say that the others are not but he will have a chip on his shoulder after being dropped in 2019 due to recreational drug use and will be looking to point out that he should have returned earlier.
- It is also his last chance, the others (particularly Will Smeed) will probably have many more games in England in each format but this will be a make-or-break tournament for Hales.
- Should the 33-year-old perform to the level he is capable of, then he may have an England future but anything less than that will see him make way once again for the younger generation.
Reason 4: He is a proven Opener
- Alex Hales opened the batting with Jonny Bairstow before the emergence of Jason Roy and was excellent in that role before dropping down to three and being a perfect anchor.
- The others (including Joe Root) have limited experience at this level, particularly opening and with Jason Roy dropped and Jonny Bairstow out, captain Jos Buttler will need a solid opening partner, in Alex Hales, he has that.
- Importantly, the two have experience batting together which is often understated in international cricket but it is important to have a strong working relationship with your batting partner.
Reason 5: He is a wildcard
- You don’t always know what you are going to get with the Hillingdon-born batsman but the upside is higher than any alternative.
- Jonny Bairstow is a huge loss for England as he is probably one of, if not, the form batsman in the world right now and so is a vital part of the team.
- No disrespect to Will Jacks, Will Smeed, Tom Banton, Joe Root or any other the other potential options but having a batsman who is capable of scoring 171 runs in an ODI inning (off just 122) and striking the ball as well as he does, would be an asset to any side.
- Jonny Bairstow is a huge loss but Alex Hales is the closest thing England is going to get to like for like replacing the Yorkshireman.
What to Conclude
- There are many key reasons why I believe England has taken Alex Hales back, like the prodigal son, but most importantly as Ben Stokes has said is because they all want to win and Alex Hales provides the best opportunity for England to do just that.
- With Eoin Morgan retiring and being replaced by Jos Buttler it looks like there has been a change in culture and allowing Alex Hales in is a smart and shrewd move by Rob Key and Jos Buttler.