Cricket Expert & Columnist
'England have perfect Test opener in aggressive Alex Hales'
Selectors must follow Aussie success of 'David Warner blueprint '
Last Updated: 14/05/15 11:49am
Alex Hales’ dynamic style makes him the natural choice to open for England in Test cricket, says Shane Warne.
Hales – who has nine one-day international caps but has yet to make his Test bow – has begun the County Championship season in superb style, striking 532 runs for Nottinghamshire at an average of 66.5.
Former leg-spinner Warne is convinced that the time has now come for England’s selectors to turn to Hales in the wake of Jonathan Trott’s decision to retire from international cricket.
Looking ahead to the summer, he told Sky Sports that the manner in which the 26-year-old scores his runs will pose a serious challenge to England’s upcoming Test opponents, New Zealand and Australia.
“For me, Hales is the man," said Warne. "Get him in across all forms of the game.
“If England want to look at a blueprint – Australia are probably the best side in the world again now and what it is they’re doing well, they picked David Warner to be aggressive at the top of the order.
“England have the perfect player to do that in Hales. He can come into Test match cricket and have the same impact. I’d get Hales in there with Alastair Cook – that’s a good combination. It’s an aggressive approach to have him in.
“There are a few other guys vying for it – Adam Lyth, for example - but Hales is the guy to open. New Zealand and Australia would be worried about someone like him at the top of the order, someone who could take advantage and go after them.
“You don’t just look at statistics. That’s why you need good cricket-people looking and judging the talent. Look at the way international teams are playing and who understand the game.
“It’s not always about someone who scores 500 runs at 50.00, because they might have been easy runs. You need the guy that when he made that hundred, he changed the game.”
Watch England’s two-Test series against New Zealand, starting on Thursday 21st May, followed by the Ashes.