England captain Jos Buttler has backed Alex Hales to succeed and suggested the opener’s return has been well received by the senior figures in the squad.
Hales has not featured for his country since falling out of favour under then captain Eoin Morgan ahead of the 2019 ICC Men’s World Cup but got his recall as a late replacement for Jonny Bairstow, who picked up a freak injury recently.
The opener is part of the England squads for the seven-match T20 tour of Pakistan, which gets underway next week, and the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Hales’ record in the format in both domestic/franchise (10104 runs, 30.71 average, 147.58) and international (1644 runs, 31.01 average, 136.65 strike rate) cricket is outstanding and, speaking to ESPNcricinfo after the tourists had landed in Pakistan, Buttler backed him to succeed on his return to the side.
He said: “I spoke to lots of the senior players to make sure that no one would have any issues with Alex being back in the team if we wanted to select him. No one had any issues. He’s obviously been in excellent form. We know what a talented player he is and he’s gained a lot of experience as well since the last time he played for England.
“He’s played for a lot of franchises and had great success out here at the PSL. Looking ahead to the World Cup, his Big Bash record is fantastic (1857 runs, 33.16 average, 151.34 strike rate). Australia is a place that he’s done well, and so he seemed the obvious pick.”
The skipper added: “There’s been a lot of water under the bridge, I think. It’s been a long time and I’m sure Alex is a different person. He spent time out of the team and it’s great that he’s performed well and forced his way back in. We look forward to seeing him perform in an England shirt again.”
England’s seven-match T20 series against Pakistan gets underway in Lahore on Tuesday.