Hales ‘will thrive’ play­ing Test cricket

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT -

HILLING­DON’S Alex Hales has ex­pe­ri­enced many troughs and peaks in his nas­cent Test ca­reer but ac­cord­ing to his Not­ting­hamshire team­mate Samit Pa­tel, the Eng­land opener is prov­ing he is right at home.

There was con­jec­ture be­fore the Sri Lanka tour that Hales’ place was al­ready in the spot­light af­ter mus­ter­ing just one half-cen­tury from four Tests against South Africa in the win­ter.

Hales has had a promis­ing yet frus­trat­ing series against Sri Lanka, scor­ing 86, 83, 11, 16 and a 94, which took him tan­ta­lis­ingly close to a maiden test cen­tury, en­sur­ing his fu­ture in the longest form of the game ap­pears se­cure go­ing for­ward. It was dou­bly im­por­tant af­ter fin­ish­ing up with a top score of just 28 at the T20 World Cup, de­spite Eng­land sur­pris­ing most of the cricket fra­ter­nity by reach­ing the fi­nal.

But Notts all-rounder Pa­tel says pres­sure is ex­actly what Hales thrives off.

“It al­ways takes time to ad­just to a dif­fer­ent arena, but I think Alex is made for the big­ger stage,” said Pa­tel.

“You can see the way he thrives off the crowd, on the big stage and in the big games.

“Peo­ple are not al­ways born with that and I think he rel­ishes the chal­lenge of play­ing in front of a big crowd and be­ing the man to hit sixes and fours for Eng­land and Notts.

“He’s just faced some of the best bowl­ing at­tacks in the world, I am sure he’s full of con­fi­dence and he looks in great touch.

“We all know what Alex can do, I don’t think he knows what he can do some­times. The way he’s started off this year and you see Alex train in the nets, he’s re­ally switched on. I’m happy with how he’s go­ing.”

As proud spon­sors of the One Day Cup, Royal Lon­don is giv­ing away match tick­ets to see the ac­tion live. Visit roy­al­lon­don­cricket.com to en­ter.

n BIG STAGE: Alex Hales

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