'Dangerous' Alex Hales will help England reign in World Cup

Batsman’s county fireworks will continue in international arena, says his fellow opener Lumb

Alex Hales spent the end of last season playing for Nottinghamshire’s Second XI after averaging just 13.94 in 18 County Championship innings.

Now, less than 12 months on, he is being talked up as a potential opening partner for Alastair Cook in next summer’s Ashes and hailed as the answer to England’s pedestrian progress in one-day cricket in the run-up to the 2015 World Cup.

It has been quite some  turnaround but the man watching his pyrotechnics from the opposite end believes that Hales has what it takes to bring his approach in the county game successfully into the international arena.

Michael Lumb is no slouch himself, boasting a strike rate of 133 in 27 Twenty20 internationals for England, but even he has been forced to take a back seat as Hales has destroyed attacks in all forms of the game this summer.

And after being called up for England’s one-day series against India, the IPL and Big Bash performer is backing his opening partner to cement his reputation as one of most destructive batsmen in the world game.

“He has been awesome,” Lumb tells The Independent. “He has played really well and [his call-up] is really deserved. He’s going to play a big part in the future of English cricket.

“He’s very talented and a dangerous player in all formats. He’s a match-winner and the sort of guy who puts the pressure back on the opposition bowlers. He’s the sort of player that England have been looking for – he’s going to be exciting to watch.”

Excitement has been short on the ground when watching England play one-day cricket in recent years, with a safety-first approach to building an innings out of kilter with the crash, bang, wallop attitude demonstrated by the likes of Australia.

The big-hitting trio of David Warner, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell have once again turned the Aussies into a formidable one-day outfit.

But the emergence of Hales, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes has handed England the chance to build a young side capable of competing in next winter’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Key to their success, though, will be the ability of Hales to bring his T20 game into the longer format.

“He’s right up there as one of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket,” says Lumb. “When he’s on form there aren’t many places you can bowl to him.

“He has definitely put himself in that top bracket with the likes of [Chris] Gayle and these guys. When he’s on song there’s not much you can do as a bowler.”

Lumb can consider himself unlucky not to be part of England’s one-day revolution. The big-hitting left-hander is averaging 43 in the Royal London One-Day Cup for Nottinghamshire, hitting just 21 runs fewer than Hales in the competition so far.

He also scored a century in a losing cause on his one-day debut for England in Antigua in February. That was  followed by scores of 39 and 20 as England came back to claim the three-match  series against West Indies 2-1.

Frustratingly, though, these remain Lumb’s only international appearances in 50-over cricket and after he was left out of this series against India it looks as though his World Cup ship may already have sailed.

“I’m not miffed this time [after missing out on selection] but I was a couple of months ago,” he says. “In fact, miffed would be quite a tame word.

“I think I walked out of that West Indies as one of the best batters on that tour, white ball and 50-over cricket. I thought that given the opportunity I had grabbed it with both hands. England obviously thought differently.”

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine