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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

T10 League star Alex Hales optimistic about England's chances of Ashes fightback

England's hard-hitting opener, in UAE to compete in T10 Cricket League, backs Test teammates to rebound from 2-0 deficit in Perth Test, starting on Thursday

Alex Hales insists England can still force their way back into the Ashes despite their woeful tour so far.

England are 2-0 down in the five-match series, with the third Test set to start in Perth on Thursday, and have been beset by off-field problems, too.

Hales is in the UAE to play for Maratha Arabians in the first T10 League, which starts at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, also on Thursday.

It will be the first competitive cricket he has played since a one-day international for England against West Indies in Bristol in September.

That fixture was followed by the incident which led to Ben Stokes and Hales being temporarily suspended from playing by England, pending a police investigation.

Both players have been named in England’s ODI squad to face Australia in five matches after the Ashes.

“They definitely have it in them, but it is going to be tough,” Hales said of England Test side’s prospects in Australia. “The Waca is one of Australia’s best ground for them to play at home. But the guys are tough. I know them all really well as a team, and they are tough individuals.

“I think they missed out at Adelaide, because they had chances to win the game there. They will know that.

“I don’t see why they can’t turn it around in Perth, and suddenly at 2-1, it is anyone’s for the taking.”

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Hales will be up against his England limited-overs captain in the T10 League, with Eoin Morgan set to captain Kerala Kings in the tournament, which lasts from Thursday to Sunday.

“I was disappointed not to be out there on the [Ashes] trip,” Hales said. “But if I was out there, obviously I wouldn’t be here. When one door closes, another one opens.

“There will be more pressure because you haven’t got as long to get in as you usually would. In T20, if you face two or three dot balls, you have a little bit of time to build your innings, but 10 overs will creep up on you very quickly.”

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