Peter Moores has refused to rule out calling up Alex Hales for England duty in either Tests or ODIs, according to the Guardian.
Hales was recently signed on loan by Worcestershire for three games, after his parent club Nottinghamshire agreed to provide them with cover for Moeen Ali following his international selection.
If Hales is to catch Moores’ eye, though, he will have to continue improving in the County Championship, where his record is relatively poor. He has been dropped for the upcoming games against Scotland, but the 25-year-old is reportedly still a part of England’s plans for the summer and may feature in their ODI fixtures against Sri Lanka.
Unsurprisingly, Moores has reiterated his faith in Alistair Cook and believes experienced Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell could provide the perfect opening partner for the Captain. Joe Root is likely to follow closely behind, but the middle order is still searching for a permanent replacement for Jonathan Trott, who has decided to take an indefinite break from cricket after suffering a relapse in the anxiety issues that saw him leave the Ashes.
It remains to be seen how Hales would fare in a Test environment, especially considering his poor performances in the longer format of the game for Notts. Last season saw him average just under 14 in the LV County Championship, but his credentials in limited overs are undeniable.
Ashley Giles certainly placed a lot of faith in him in making him an opener, but with him now out of the picture having been cast aside by England, Hales now has work to do to impress the new coaching line up, which includes Moores and assistant Paul Farbrace.
And despite showing some signs of inconsistency following his move to Worcestershire, he scored 63 in helping the Royals to a draw against Glamorgan in his first match at New Road. However, his critics still point to his failings in Division One with Notts as an indication that he may still not yet be ready for Test cricket.
His 116 not out in England’s T20 against Sri Lanka earlier this year remains fresh in the memory nonetheless; Hales was the first man to hit a century in that form of the game, and it was a ton that proved the highlight of a dismal tournament for the Three Lions.
Hales will be disappointed not to make England’s 13-man squad to face Scotland, which is something of an experimental one, as Worcestershire’s Ali is joined by uncapped Notts’ seamer Harry Gurney. Moores will take charge of his forces for the first time since 2009 in Aberdeen on Friday.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU