Alex Hales recovers from a broken hand to make a comeback for third ODI against West Indies

Hales broke his hand in the outfield during the new year tour of India but is set for a return

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England's record-breaking opener Alex Hales is on the verge of a likely comeback in Barbados this week after completing his recovery from a broken hand.

Hales, who has missed England's last six white-ball matches since breaking his hand in the outfield during the new year tour of India, is in the reckoning to face West Indies in the third and final match of their one-day international series at the Kensington Oval on Thursday.

If so, Sam Billings will make way at the top of the order - having made one half-century and then a golden duck as England took an unassailable 2-0 lead with back-to-back hard-fought victories in Antigua.

Hales, who hit England's all-time highest ODI individual score of 171 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge last summer, rejoined his team-mates in Antigua last week - although on that leg of this short tour, he was merely completing his rehabilitation and was not available for selection.

Assistant coach Paul Farbrace confirmed on Tuesday, however, that the opener is back in the frame to partner Jason Roy against the new ball as England seek a 3-0 whitewash success.

Farbrace says Hales is back in the frame (Getty)

"Halesy has now been passed fit by the medics, and he's practised well over the last few days - so he's officially in the squad now for Thursday's game - which is good news," Farbrace told the BBC's Test Match Special.

England will not practise in Bridgetown until Wednesday, however, and Hales' inclusion may not be confirmed for sure until match day.

"That's down the to the selectors in terms of picking the team for that match," added Farbrace.

"We've got 16 people fit and available for Thursday.

"We always knew that Hales would join us. Even if he wasn't available to play, we were always going to bring him here so we had him as part of the group ... and continued his rehab in readiness for when he is."


Hales has recovered from injury (Getty)

It seems Billings may well have to make way to reunite England's first-choice Champions Trophy opening pair.

After nine one-day internationals spread over 21 months, the 25-year-old averages almost 30 at a strike rate in the mid-90s - but has not done quite enough here to make it difficult for the selectors to drop him.

"Billings has had an extended go, because of Hales being out of the side," added Farbrace, who does not appear to be in favour of making any further changes.

"We could do," he said. "But my personal view is we should pick our best XI and try to win the series 3-0. That should be our aim.

"If we do make changes, I don't think in any way it weakens our side. We're not going to be disrespectful to the West Indies - we're certainly not going to be giving caps away just to give people a game."


Billings may lose his place in the team (Getty)

England found trouble in both matches in Antigua, against inexperienced opponents who have not qualified for this summer's global tournament, but they dug their way out of it each time too.

"We came here to win the series, and we've done that," said Farbrace.

"Yes, the last match was a lot closer than it should have been - but it's still a good sign that the character in the team is there to win tough games.

"It's about getting over the line, and winning those games, and taking confidence."

Bayliss is taking a rest in Australia (Getty)

Farbrace has been in sole charge over the past two weeks, while head coach Trevor Bayliss takes a rest in his native Australia.

Communication lines are open, but Farbrace reports Bayliss has largely left things up to him - despite occasional moments of painful viewing from afar on television down under, not least as England collapsed from 87 for one to 124 for six before Joe Root and Chris Woakes' match-winning stand took them 2-0 up on Sunday.

"The timings haven't worked very well for him," said Farbrace.

"He's been getting up at 5am and watching the second innings of the game ... so I'd think he was wishing he'd slept through his alarm the other day, and missed most of that innings until Woakesy and Rooty got together."