Former Australia star Shane Warne says in-form batsman Alex Hales must open for England in the upcoming Test series’ against New Zealand and Australia.
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The 26-year-old is yet to make his debut at Test level, but his performances in the opening stages of the County season have given selectors no choice but to consider him as a replacement for the recently retired Jonathan Trott.
Hales has nine one-day international caps to his name and is currently averaging 85 with the bat this season with Nottinghamshire.
Warne said it was now time for England selectors to throw Hales into the Test side.
“For me, Alex Hales is the man. Get him in across all forms of the game,” Warne told Sky Sports.
‘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.”
Warne said Yorkshire batsman Adam Lyth was in with a shout too, but said both New Zealand and Australia would be wary of the aggressive Hales.
“I’m sure there are a few other guys vying for it – Adam Lyth, for example. But for me, 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,” Warne said.
“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.”
Australia dominated the 2013/14 Ashes series with a comprehensive 5-0 win and are the raging favourites to win the 2015 edition despite it being played on UK soil.
The 2015 Ashes series begins in Cardiff on July 8.