London [UK], January 21 (ANI): England ODI coach Matthew Mott said Alex Hales will be hard to keep out if he continues his rich vein of form in T20 cricket.
Hales made his return to the national T20 side for the first time since 2019 last year leading up to ICC T20 World Cup. But he is not included in England's 50-over squad for the upcoming series against South Africa at home, which will start from January 27 onwards and consists of three ODIs.
"To me, white-ball cricket is white-ball cricket. He has shown he is not a slogger of the ball. He is a proper cricketer and there is absolutely no reason why he could not get in that 50-over team," said Mott as quoted by Sky Sports.
"We have got some tough selections coming up, and we do not play a lot of one-day cricket, but I am sure if he keeps in this rich vein of form he will be hard to keep out."Meanwhile, Hales continues his T20 exploits, as usual, all over the globe. He recently smashed the first-ever hundred of the ongoing inaugural International League T20, a league organised by the Emirates Cricket Board. He smacked a 59-ball 110 for Desert Vipers against Abu Dhabi Knight Riders on Friday, which follow half-centuries in his first two games in the tournament.
Before leaving for ILT20, he had struck three fifties for Sydney Thunder in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL).
Coming to ODIs, he has played 70 ODIs for England and has scored 2,419 runs in 67 innings at an average of 37.79, with six tons and 14 half-centuries. His best score in the format is 171. Hales last played an ODI in March 2019 against West Indies.
Hales had a redemption arc last year. Before his recall for the series against Pakistan and the T20 World Cup last year, Hales had not played for England since 2019 due to off-field issues. He had tested positive for recreational drugs leading up to the 2019 Cricket World Cup, resulting in his omission from the squad and a "complete breakdown in trust" with then white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan. Hales had to see England lift their first-ever 50-over World Cup from the sidelines.
He was recalled for the Pakistan series and T20 WC in September, replacing an injured Jonny Bairstow. Also, with Jason Roy overlooked due to his prolonged lean patch with the bat, Hales' bid for redemption brightened.
The batter repaid the faith the selectors reposed in him, scoring 53 on his return. Since then, Hales has played 15 T20Is for England in 2022, having scored 430 runs at an average of 30.71 and a strike rate of 145.27. He produced four half-centuries, with his best score being unbeaten 86 against India in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup.
In the tourney, the Englishman produced some fine knocks. In six matches, he aggregated 212 runs at an average of 42.20. He scored two fifties, with a best of 86 against India. He finished as the eighth-highest run-getter in the tournament. Hales was England's second-highest run-getter in the tournament behind Jos Buttler (225 runs). (ANI)