World T20 centurion, Alex Hales, has been recalled by Nottinghamshire, prematurely ending his loan spell at Worcestershire after only one game, according to the BBC.
The right-handed batsman was expected to spend a month at New Road, but returned to Trent Bridge when Steven Mullaney sustained a back injury whilst bowling during a net session. It means that the 25-year-old is more likely to play Division One cricket in the build-up to England’s summer schedule – which commenced against Scotland last Friday.
A purgatory phase for the national side means that places are available across all three formats of the sport. Yet Hales shouldn’t be too worried about holding down his position in the T20 squad.
He has been a regular for England in the newest addition to the international stage for the past five years, and is closing in on 1,000 runs in the 20-over format.
Back in Nottingham, the one-day specialist will surround himself with fellow England hopefuls, James Taylor and Samit Patel. That competitive environment may be just what Hales needs to prolong his international career for years to come.
In his solitary game in Division Two of the County Championship, Hales made scores of 15 and 63 against Glamorgan. However, despite returning from Worcestershire, the opening batsman didn’t make the squad for Nottinghamshire’s Division One contest with Northamptonshire.
Back in March, Hales became the first England player to score a century in a 20-over match during the World T20 in Bangladesh, but he has been struggling to find form with the bat in the longer format of the game. Just one appearance in Nottinghamshire’s opening three Championship matches led to the batsman being shipped off on loan to nearby Worcestershire. The time set aside for Hales to spend some extended periods of time in the middle has been cut short, but that could be a good thing.
His return to the domestic cricketing elite will be eased with the half century that he scored whilst away from Trent Bridge. And batting against better bowlers in Division One is going to prepare him well for the international summer ahead.
England face touring Indian and Sri Lankan sides this summer, and Hales will want to pick up where he left off during the World T20.
More practice can be procured in the shortest format of the game when the T20 Blast begins this coming Friday. The Outlaws start at home to Lancashire Lightning with the opening batsman very much a part of their plans to win the rebranded competition for the very first time.
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