England’s limited-overs skipper, Eoin Morgan is not at all subtle whenever he has spoken about Alex Hales and the possibilities of the opener’s return to the national side since being dropped a couple of years ago, for non-cricket reasons.
Eoin Morgan has always praised Hales as a batsman but has cited ‘trust’ issues with the player for him not being recalled to the England setup after being banned for failing tests for recreational drugs – it was the second such incident for Hales – just weeks before the 2019 World Cup, putting the entire tournament in jeopardy for Morgan’s side.
The right-hander last played for the Three Lions in March 2019 and has been plying his trade in the T20 leagues around the world. Indeed, his phenomenal batting form in the T20 leagues is forcing the England management to reconsider it.
We don’t struggle for players, it’s probably in the top three: Eoin Morgan
However, despite Hales’ superlative batting form, the English skipper is adamant about not bringing the opener back. Eoin Morgan, ahead of the 5-match T20I series against India in Ahmedabad, points out that his side has a surplus of top-order options.
Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, and Jonny Bairstow are well placed in the top 4 followed by Morgan, and Ben Stokes; the likes of Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Tom Banton, and Liam Livingstone are fighting for a place in the side; not to mention Joe Root, who was rested from T20Is but never got recalled. In that case, it would seem unfair, and unlikely for Hales’ return.
“Our position on Alex still remains the same. He’s out of the squad. The squad is very strong at the moment. You look at the strength of our squad at the moment and the areas that we’re trying to improve… one area we don’t struggle for players, it’s probably in the top three,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Eoin Morgan as saying.
However, the glimmer of hope is there for Alex Hales, as Eoin Morgan and national selector Ed Smith have earlier hinted that there will call-up some fringe players for camps in the summer; Hales might be one of them.
“He’s not in the squad and the squad is very difficult to get back into. The player that he is has never been in doubt. Could he return ahead of the World Cup? Only time will tell. But time is a great healer.
“We learn more about players by bringing them into the nets. There is an opportunity this summer to bring him in,” the skipper added.