Full name Alexander Daniel Hales
Born January 3, 1989, Hillingdon, Middlesex
Current age 28 years 21 days
Major teams England, Buckinghamshire, Duronto Rajshahi, England Lions, Melbourne Renegades, Mumbai Indians, Nottinghamshire, Nottinghamshire 2nd XI, Worcestershire
Playing role Opening batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Fielding position Occasional wicketkeeper
Height 6 ft 5 in
|Test debut||South Africa v England at Durban, Dec 26-30, 2015 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v Pakistan at The Oval, Aug 11-14, 2016 scorecard|
|ODI debut||England v India at Cardiff, Aug 27, 2014 scorecard|
|Last ODI||India v England at Cuttack, Jan 19, 2017 scorecard|
|T20I debut||England v India at Manchester, Aug 31, 2011 scorecard|
|Last T20I||England v Pakistan at Manchester, Sep 7, 2016 scorecard|
|First-class debut||Nottinghamshire v Somerset at Nottingham, Sep 3-6, 2008 scorecard|
|Last First-class||England v Pakistan at The Oval, Aug 11-14, 2016 scorecard|
|List A debut||Leicestershire v Nottinghamshire at Oakham, May 28, 2008 scorecard|
|Last List A||India v England at Cuttack, Jan 19, 2017 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Nottinghamshire v Durham at Nottingham, May 25, 2009 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||England v Pakistan at Manchester, Sep 7, 2016 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|14||England||v India||Cuttack||19 Jan 2017||ODI # 3821|
|9||England||v India||Pune||15 Jan 2017||ODI # 3819|
|51||England XI||v India A||Mumbai (BS)||12 Jan 2017||Other OD|
|40||England XI||v India A||Mumbai (BS)||10 Jan 2017||LA|
|37||England||v Pakistan||Manchester||7 Sep 2016||T20I # 566|
|23||England||v Pakistan||Cardiff||4 Sep 2016||ODI # 3777|
|8||England||v Pakistan||Leeds||1 Sep 2016||ODI # 3775|
|171||England||v Pakistan||Nottingham||30 Aug 2016||ODI # 3773|
|14||England||v Pakistan||Lord's||27 Aug 2016||ODI # 3771|
|7||England||v Pakistan||Southampton||24 Aug 2016||ODI # 3770|
There was no doubting the yearning when Alex Hales made his ODI debut for England against India at Cardiff in 2014. If English cricket was still not debating the enforced removal of Kevin Pietersen from international cricket, it was arguing over the conservative approach towards one-day batting at the top of the order. Hales, a tall batsman with a destructive range of offside drives and cuts, was seen as a player who could potentially change the conversation into something more positive.
It took 32 international Twenty20 appearances - strikingly good figures, too, with an average of 38 and a strike rate approaching 140 - before Hales finally won ODI recognition from England selectors who mistrusted his technique against the short ball and his ability to build an innings.
There followed a comparable wait before England considered a further transition - from ODI batsman to Test opener. His 24 ODIs had brought modest success - his average in the mid-20s - but a timely maiden ODI hundred against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi helped to propel him into England's Test squad for their 2015/16 tour of South Africa as he became the eighth opener to try to fill the gap left by Andrew Strauss' Test retirement more than three years earlier. England had exhibited a wish to play a more expansive game at Test level and that worked in his favour.
Eleven Tests from the Boxing Day meeting with South Africa in Durban in 2015 until The Oval brought down the curtain on the 2016 English summer against Pakistan represented a decent run in which to establish himself, but he did not take easily to the tempo and technique at Test level. In three successive Tests against Sri Lanka - at Headingley, Chester-le-Street and Lord's - he passed 80 without securing the maiden Test century he craved and which might have be3en a harbinger for better things. When he chose, along with his limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, not to tour Bangladesh for safety reasons (the tour passed off uneventfully amid high security) he also found himself omitted from the subsequent India tour because of his doubts about his capacity against spin bowling. He faced an anxious wait to see if others would lay down an unanswerable claim to his place.
At 6 foot 5, Hales has always hit with a stately intent. His England T20 debut came in 2011, to which he responded after a debut duck against India by scoring an unbeaten 62 off 48 balls as England beat West Indies at the Oval. In his first Twenty20 international of 2012, against West Indies again, he failed by one run to become the first batsman to score a century for England in the short format on his home ground of Trent Bridge, in June. He promised much in a largely ill-starred England campaign in the 2012 World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka, although his innings tended to run out of steam. That first hundred by an England batsman finally came in the 2013 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh when he made an unbeaten 116 from 64 balls against Sri Lanka in Chittagong, striking a six over midwicket to secure a last-over victory.
Hales' short-form prowess was evident when he top-scored for Nottinghamshire in the 2011 Friends Life t20 with 544 runs at 34 and a strike-rate of 146. His reputation in T20 cricket grew and he earned a late deal with Melbourne Renegades for two matches of the 2012/13 Big Bash. His debut brought a brutal 89 in just 52 balls at the SCG.
In four-day cricket he initially progressed well, earning his county cap after scoring 184 against Somerset at Trent Bridge on his way to topping 1,000 first-class runs in the season for the first time, despite missing almost seven weeks of the campaign with a broken jaw. He added 857 first-class runs in 2012, including two centuries in August.
But there followed a disastrous 2013 Championship season in which Hales virtually lost interest and averaged 13.94, being advised by England as a result that he was in danger of becoming a two-dimensional Twenty20 specialist. He decided to work harder on his four-day cricket - although only after he was overlooked in the IPL 2014 draft. English players were often passed over, with their availability so uncertain, but this omission was more curious than many: his reputation had not spread outside England. No matter, he settled into Championship cricket with 954 runs at 50 and it was arguably what his career most needed.
He had been part of England's ODI squad to the West Indies but missed out on a debut through injury. Finally, three one-day hundreds in as many weeks for Nottinghamshire, including a 96-ball 141 against Middlesex, added to the clamour for his selection. The time was finally ripe.
Sporting talent is in his genes, as his grandfather once took Rod Laver to five sets at Wimbledon.
NBC Denis Compton Award 2008, 2009,2010,2011
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