Hales - Tresco my role model
Alex Hales has set his sights on filling the gap left by Marcus Trescothick after cracking a maiden international fifty against West Indies.
Last Updated: 24/09/11 10:12pm
England opener Alex Hales has set his sights on filling the gap left by Marcus Trescothick after cracking a maiden international half-century against West Indies.
The Nottinghamshire batsman made a two-ball duck on debut against India but banished those memories with a flowing innings of 62 not out in 48 balls as England hammered the Windies by 10 wickets in the first of two Twenty20s at the Oval.
With eight fours and a mighty six over fine leg, the 22-year-old showed the kind of form that saw him crowned young player of the year at the Professional Cricketers' Association awards on Thursday night.
Meanwhile Trescothick, who has not played for England since 2006 due to a stress-related illness, continues to dominate county cricket and picked up the cricketer of the year award at the same event.
England have long missed his aggressive style at the top of the order, trying multiple combinations in limited-overs cricket without consistent success.
Now Hales, who last season passed 1,000 first-class runs and added 544 in the Friends Life t20, believes he can be the answer.
"When I was in my mid-teens I always looked up to Trescothick, even though he was a left-hander and I'm a right-hander," he said.
"I looked up to him, the way he shot the ball through the off side. He had all the shots in the book and he is someone I really looked up to and modelled my game on.
"He is a world-class player. His attacking instincts are something I have tried to model from a young age and if I do get a chance I will try to play like he does."
Despite the comprehensive nature of the contest - Hales and Craig Kieswetter's unbroken stand of 128 was England's highest in Twenty20 internationals, while Ravi Bopara's figures of four for 10 were his country's best in the format - he admits to some early nerves.
"I was obviously disappointed with the way my debut went and I felt I had to try to put things right," said Hales.
"It is a completely different feeling. It is from one end of the spectrum to the other.
"I have worked hard over the last couple of weeks and I am pleased it has managed to come off.
"I had it in the back of my mind they might have called back Alastair Cook for this game and I am pleased they put their trust in me and gave me another chance.
"I couldn't have any champagne (at the PCA dinner) but hopefully if I do well on Sunday it will come out again."
Hales was marked for international honours a couple of years ago but endured a brief dip in form in 2010, losing his Nottinghamshire spot for a handful of weeks.
He knows now not to take his position for granted and has vowed to keep working hard to reach his goals.
"At the end the 2009 season I finished the season playing in the first team, I got 150 in a one-dayer and had a couple of good knocks in the championship so I think I almost expected to get in the team at the start of the year," he said.
"I probably didn't practise as hard as I should have done. I was out of form and it was a welcome kick up the backside to go back into the second team to score runs and train a bit harder.
"Since then I have continued with that attitude and hopefully that will continue."