England news August 20, 2014

Hales glad to have missed out on IPL

ESPNcricinfo staff

Alex Hales who earned a call-up to the England ODI side on Monday, has said that he is grateful he was not picked for IPL 2014, allowing him time to improve his four-day game. Hales was one of the English players passed over by franchises during the auction in February 2014.

Hales, who is a regular in England's T20 side, had made a strong case for an ODI spot with three List-A hundreds in the last three weeks, including a 96-ball 141 for Nottinghamshire against Middlesex. He had been a part of England's ODI squad to the West Indies earlier in the year but missed out on a debut after suffering a thigh injury. Hales also succeeded in carrying his rich one-day form into first-class cricket, with an unbeaten 102 against Northamptonshire last week.

"Had I got picked up in the IPL who knows whether we would have been having this conversation now," Hales told the Daily Telegraph. "I am almost glad that the door shut on me in the IPL and it has given me the chance to work hard on my four-day game. Had I gone to India it would have all been T20 and whacking the ball rather than ­technique and building and compiling innings."

Hales is expected to open the innings along with Alastair Cook and a strong showing could only help build his case for a top-order spot in Tests, especially after Sam Robson's struggles in the recent Tests against India. His success in the first-class games has also helped prove that his technique may not be an issue. In nine Division One games this season, Hales has scored 848 runs at an average of 56.53 with three hundreds and three fifties.

"Test cricket is definitely still my ambition. I'm still only 25 so I have just about got time on my side," Hales said. "From what I have learnt last year and the steps I have made, if I continue with those improvements then who knows?

"After the Big Bash I had a lot of time away to think about four-day cricket and discover that hunger for runs again and building an innings and working hard on my technique. I'm really happy that I have reaped the rewards this year."

Hales brushed aside any doubts over his readiness for the one-day stage. The batsman has played 32 T20Is for England since his debut against India in August 2011 and said the experience had helped him get accustomed to the international stage.

"I have played 30-odd games of international T20 and that comes with a lot of pressure, so I don't think the big stage will be anything too new," Hales said. "It's just whether my technique and temperament are ready for the step up, but I feel I have shown in the last few weeks that they are."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on August 22, 2014, 19:55 GMT

    Funny world. He was loaned out earlier in the season too. Maybe the IPL rejection and being loaned out made him hungrier. Had he played in the IPL he may be richer financially. Had he played a significant number of games he would be richer for the experience too. However he may have been benched for much of it which would have done him no favours cricket wise. On the other hand I reckon Morgan is probably regretting not playing the IPL as I reckon he's as far away from the test side as he ever was, Buttler must have been tempted to put himself forward for IPL and I reckon he must be glad he stayed in England

  • Jason on August 22, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster, each to their own, but to claim you need more skill in T20 is laughable, T20 is to cricket as a comic is to a novel. The comic satisfies a need for 10 minutes but is hardly memorable, where as a novel sticks in the memory.

  • Jay on August 22, 2014, 0:36 GMT

    Good on you Hales. Well guess what, nobody cares what your opinion on the IPL is. We know No matter how much you speak in that regard, no IPL team is ready to pick you or your countrymen. Enjoy your grandpa cricket.

  • S on August 21, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    @jmcilhinney: " I think he's saying that playing IPL would have meant less time to concentrate his long-form game and actually get good at it..."

    I disagree because Hales statement was not about time but about technique. His exact words were: "Had I gone to India it would have all been T20 and whacking the ball rather than ­technique and building and compiling innings."

    I do agree that Hales is ready for the ODI team. It will be interesting to see if IPL has ruined India's ODI performances as well. If we notice a tendency to hit big in the first 10 overs or most of the batsmen getting out by the 40th over or so, it will be clear that even their ODI prospects have gotten screwed by IPL. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if that turns out to be true.

  • S on August 21, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    "...it would have all been T20 and whacking the ball rather than ­technique and building and compiling innings."

    Exactly. And one Test team has completed Test innings scores of 178, 152, 161, 148 and 94 that prove what Hales says :-)

  • Jason on August 21, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    @baghels.a, no problem, Im ambivalent towards T20 cricket, it fills a hole in that it brings in crowds to help the counties out financially. I would prefer it if it was at the end of the season, a little like the IPL is, but then again who wants to sit out at Headingly in the cold damp nights of September.

    Its good to hear that India is in the same boat with regard to Pay TV, I thought all cricket was on Free to air there.

  • jayaesh on August 21, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    @jb633,Yorkshire pudding thanks mate for appreciating my point and posting a reply....it is the same in India many under the age of 40 are more clued in to shorter formats but it does not mean we don't follow or acknowledge the primacy of test cricket, most of us want India to excel especially in overseas conditions. lot of people say that more cricket in England should be on terrestrial TV channels but here in India since last decade and a half almost every cricket is available only on paid TV channels, so that can't be the reason because Premiership football is only available on paid channels like Skysports/BT(Exorbitant Subscription packages), slightly off the topic but IPL teams have to have minimum 7 Indians in there lineups while too many foreigners in English premier league clubs which hampers young English footballers growth hence a poor English football team.Yes scheduling in modern cricket is a killer but good players should be able to adapt to all 3 formats regardless.

  • Jason on August 21, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    @baghels, the reason that county figures lag behind is simply because most of the games are played mid week, and so to get to them its difficult if you work. T20 games tend to be well attended as they are on in the evening with 6pm starts so people go out after work.

    Weekend Games don't get attended because that's when most club cricket is played, so the people most likely to go are actually playing, or they are spending time with their family and doing normal chores.

    Football takes 2 hours out of your day a couple of times a week, cricket takes 10 hours for 5 days.

    In answer to the second question, I don't know, however a lot of purists can see how T20 is damaging the higher levels of the game, by teaching poor shot selection, sloppy bowling because you expect to be hit to the boundary so you just try and minimise the damage. Pitches are created to last 20 overs, in tests they have to last 450 overs.

  • John on August 21, 2014, 1:47 GMT

    @D.S.A on (August 20, 2014, 19:31 GMT), stop playing the victim. It is NOT a cheap shot or even a criticism of India, Indians or the IPL. Hales wanted to play IPL because he believed that he could do well and make money and fair enough too. When he says that he's glad he wasn't selected in the auction he's not saying that the IPL is bad. He's saying that the time his non-selection afforded him to concentrate on FC cricket has given him a much better chance of playing Test cricket. He wanted something but and didn't get it but may end up getting something else he wanted as a result. We've all had it happen at some point and it doesn't mean that we think what we wanted in the first place was wrong. You're as bad as Dhoni suggesting people are jealous of IPL just because they suggest that some India Test players missing it might improve India's Test team. You just want to believe that everyone is against you so you can complain about it.

  • Soy on August 21, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    I like Hales and wish him all the best.

    To those saying it would have been better if he didn't do IPL - maybe, however he's saying it was a blessing in disguise to get inexplicably overlooked.

    It will benefit him and ENG in the long run.

    He mows his runs at good pace too, in all 3 formats, it'll be interesting to see whether he can push for Robson's spot. That'd be a nice contrast to Cook (right-left combo and a grafter with a strokemaker).

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