Alex Hales will miss the rest of England's tour of India with a broken hand

Sam Billings is likely to replace him in the XI

Rory Dollard
Friday 20 January 2017 18:31
Hales injured the little finger on his right hand in the second test
Hales injured the little finger on his right hand in the second test

England opener Alex Hales will miss the remainder of England's limited-overs tour of India with a broken right hand and is also touch and go for next month's trip to the West Indies.

Hales suffered the injury diving for an attempted catch in Thursday's 15-run defeat in Cuttack, jarring his hand awkwardly as he landed.

The 28-year-old opener was wearing a sling on the team flight to Kolkata and headed straight for an X-ray on arrival which confirmed he had no chance of making Sunday's final one-day international at Eden Gardens or the subsequent Twenty20 series.

Sam Billings is likely to step in at opener in the third ODI, as he did when scoring 62 in Chittagong three months ago, while Jonny Bairstow could be asked to stay on for the T20s.

The Test wicketkeeper was not due to be part of the short-form series but there is a now a vacancy for another batsmen in the group.

Hales will meet a surgeon next week to assess whether an operation is necessary but is thought to be facing a lay-off of around five to six weeks.

That would make him a doubt for the three one-day games in the Caribbean, which begins with a warm-up match in St Kitts on February 25 and forms a key part of England's Champions Trophy preparations.

Should Hales not make the West Indies fixtures he will have only two one-day internationals against Ireland in early May to get in form for the high-profile tournament on home soil.

Sam Billings' 93 guided England to victory in their warm-up ODI against India

On a separate note, the injury may also affect Hales' intentions to enter the Indian Premier League auction next month, not to mention his attractiveness to the franchises.

A short statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board read: "Opening batsman Alex Hales will miss the remainder of England's tour of India after scans revealed that he fractured his right hand during the second one-day international against India on Thursday in Cuttack.

"He will return to England on Saturday and will see a hand surgeon next week.

"England will announce Hales' replacement in the T20 squad for the three-match series against India, starting on January 26, in due course.

Hales' early exit ends a winter programme he would probably rather forget in its entirety.

Alex Hales refused to travel to Bangladesh in the summer 

He was one of just two players, alongside limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, to opt out of the tour of Bangladesh on safety grounds and he also lost his place in the Test squad for the five-match series in India before Christmas.

After arriving with the white-ball players at the start of this month, things did not go to plan either. Hales made scores of nine and 14 in two 50-over matches where the lowest team score in four innings has been 350 and there have been five centurions.

England have been fined by the International Cricket Council for a slow over-rate during their defeat in Cuttack.

Morgan pleaded guilty to the offence after his side were found to be one over short of their target and he was fined 20 per cent of his match fee.

The remainder of the team also received 10 per cent fines.

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