x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Alex Hales keen on making hay while it shines in T20

Ambitious youth wants to impress on every chance before India and Bangladesh leagues ahead of second Twenty20 today.

England's Alex Hales made a 26-ball half-century in the first Twenty20.
England's Alex Hales made a 26-ball half-century in the first Twenty20.

Alex Hales has one more chance to impress today as he sets his sights on a breakthrough year for England.

Hales' 26-ball half-century in a losing cause against India in Pune in the first of two Twenty20 internationals, was a timely contribution before the announcement of two limited-overs squads for February's tour of New Zealand.

The 23 year old has ambitions in all formats - and although any Test aspirations may seem a little fanciful as yet, his next stepping stone would be to sneak into the one-day international reckoning. To that end, Hales is intent on taking all opportunities which come his way. He has also set his sights on the Twenty20 competitions in India and Bangladesh - the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) - despite reservations by his county Nottinghamshire.

"There's an up-and-coming Lions tour I'm hoping to be part of, and the Twenty20 in New Zealand," Hales said. "All I can do is keep doing as well as I can and try to impress the selectors ... perform to the best of my ability whenever I get a chance."

His decision to join the BPL is one taken against advice issued yesterday by the Professional Cricketers' Association.

Their chief executive Angus Porter is "very nervous" about the BPL's track record, after last year's issue of non-payment to players.

Hales, however, is prepared to take a chance on the basis of what he sees as a feasible risk to reward ratio. "I did see that, and you do have a little bit of concern."

"But at the end of the day, there's a Twenty20 World Cup coming up in a few years in Bangladesh. So any experience you can get out in the subcontinent is invaluable.

"Any time you can play in a massive tournament, to benefit your international hopes, is a great opportunity."

Meanwhile, England's T20 captain Eoin Morgan acknowledged that his inexperienced team would have to learn the lessons of Pune quickly as they go into today's game in Mumbai.

"It's going to be mayhem, and performing under pressure is what the selectors want," he said.

England will try to level the series after the hosts rode on the brilliance of Yuvraj Singh in Pune.

India's concern remained their bowlers, with Parvinder Awana going for 29 runs in his two overs and he might make way for the all-rounder Bhuvneshwar Kumar or the paceman Abhimanyu Mithun.

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