Alex Hales is perhaps the most talked cricketer presently, after he scored a match winning century against SriLanka to keep English hopes alive in the tournament. The innings showed a lot of maturity ,be it the shot selection or pacing the innings or everything he did was just outstanding. It was like a master at work.
This innings must have been a slap to all the IPL franchises, who didnot find him worthy enough of getting an IPL contract. Having expressed his strong desire to play in the IPL, he just could not find himself in the plans of the franchises.
When England first decided to build a different T20 team, full of power hitters at the top , he was the obvious choice with the range of shots he had and backed up by the domestic performances. His debut was a forgettable one but what followed in the next few series was what the English selectors had hoped for.
Alex Hales is the only player to be dismissed twice in the 90s in International T20 matches. This must have surely addded a lot of pressure on him. After losing 2 early wickets, England were on the back foot, but Hales and Morgan stepped up. The best part of Hales’s innings was picking the right bowlers. He tried to be a bit cautious against Malinga and murdered the rest.He finally managed to score 116 runs from 64 balls, becoming the only English to do so.He remained not out and finished the innings with a six.
With England very alive in this World Cup and Hales going all guns blazing, it might just decrease the burden from Morgan , who is undoubtedly the best in this English lineup. Earlier, Morgan was left to do a lot of repair job and accelerate at the same time. Also, it makes up for the wayward English bowling especially the spin department which doesn’t seem to be going for wickets. Swann was a genuine wicket taker and got some vital breakthroughs in the middle overs.
England will surely bank on it’s power hitters to help them win the title or atleast take them to the knock out stage. Hales will have to come to the party, given the way he can attack the spinners, who will be key to every successful team in the tournament. Also, the Peterson factor has to be compensated by the top order.