Cricket

England give Hales ODI shot

2014-08-18 21:03
Alex Hales (AFP)

London - Alex Hales will be given the chance to stake his claim for a World Cup place after being named in England's 15-man squad to face India in the one-day international series.

Hales is uncapped as yet in one-day internationals, but he has been in fine form for Nottinghamshire of late, hitting a brilliant 141 from 96 balls against Middlesex last Thursday following an impressive century for England Lions against Sri Lanka A at Taunton last week.

The 25-year-old batsman has featured in 32 Twenty20 internationals, but the selectors had been reluctant to employ his audacious stroke-play in the 50-over arena until now.

With the World Cup looming in Australia and New Zealand early next year, Hales looks set to be given the opportunity to cement his place as captain Alastair Cook's opening partner in the forthcoming five-match limited-overs series, which starts in Bristol on August 25.

"Following the tons for the Lions last week, at Lord's on Thursday and now today, I feel I'm in the best form of my career - and I hope it continues," Hales said after hitting another century for Nottinghamshire against Northamptonshire just hours before the squad was announced.

England, meanwhile, must work out whether he is ready to take over from Ian Bell - and if so where that leaves the latter, who is one of six specialist batsmen in their squad.

Cook and Bell both operate at ODI strike rates in the mid to late 70s, while Hales smashes the ball to all parts at 99.77 in List A fixtures.

Hales joins a squad which will be missing star seam bowler Stuart Broad, who is due to see a specialist this week to assess what to do about his long-term right knee injury.

Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn has benefitted from Broad's absence as he earns a call-up.

Fellow pace man James Anderson is included despite suggestions he might benefit from a rest after England concluded their sequence of five back-to-back Test matches with a 3-1 victory over India on Sunday.

James Whitaker, England's National Selector, said: "With the ICC Cricket World Cup now less than six months away our focus over the coming months switches to identifying our strongest possible squad for that competition.

"However this is an important series in its own right and we have selected 15 players who we believe will perform well against an Indian side with a strong one day record.

"This series presents an opportunity for players to build on their international and domestic form and demonstrate that they have the ability to win games of cricket for England.

"With plenty of domestic limited overs cricket still to be played this season and a series against Sri Lanka in November before finalising our World Cup squad there are still opportunities for us to consider a number of players who have missed out on selection."

England squad named on Monday for the one-day international series against India, starting on August 25:

Alastair Cook (Essex/captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire/wkt), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Harry Gurney (Nottinghamshire), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

Fixtures:

25 August: First ODI, Bristol

27 August: Second ODI, Cardiff

30 August: Third ODI, Trent Bridge

2 September: Fourth ODI, Edgbaston

5 September: Fifth ODI, Headingley

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