Alex Hales was never expecting a call-up to the Indian Premier League season 11; however, SRH came calling to him, as a replacement of David Warner, who was suspended from the IPL 2018 due to his involvement in the ball tampering scandal.
In a chat with Sportstarlive.com, Alex Hales opened up about his career so far and the opportunity to play in the IPL.
Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Talking about being a part of the SRH team, Hales said, “You got to have patience. It is good to be part of a team that’s achieving so much so far in the tournament. We have won three good games, some of them have been tight finishes. For me, it is important to stay fit and focus on my training. If a chance comes along, it is great, but if not, then also it will be a great experience.”
He continued, “At the moment, no. We have a balanced team, the overseas players are performing really well. We have got two great spinners, and there is Kane (Williamson) as captain. Billy (Stanlake) is bowling over 90 miles per hour, so the balance is brilliant. It is amazing how quickly things change. Only two weeks ago, I was training in England and was not even expecting to come here. Who knows what happens (next).”
Talking about his call-up for IPL 2018, Hales said, “At the moment, no. We have a balanced team, the overseas players are performing really well. We have got two great spinners, and there is Kane (Williamson) as captain. Billy (Stanlake) is bowling over 90 miles per hour, so the balance is brilliant. It is amazing how quickly things change. Only two weeks ago, I was training in England and was not even expecting to come here. Who knows what happens (next).”
Talking about the Ben Stokes controversy, which involved him also, Hales clarified that, “It was a tough few months. End of summer, I missed out on a few games when a lot was happening. I was not in the one-dayers for three to four months. But then, I was again given a chance to train and practice hard. Again now, I find myself in the fringes as there are some unbelievable players in the England side. You can see the way guys are playing in the IPL. Since the 2015 World Cup, our side has played really well and hopefully, we will peak up at the right time for the next World Cup. The next 18 months will be challenging for me as I would try and regain my berth.”
“That’s the main thing that counts. Friends and family will always be there when you think things are finished. They helped me a lot. It was perhaps more tough for Stokes. Most important thing was to be with people you care about and your loved ones. The biggest healer is time and once the time is gone, there are other things. The first few days were tough but then, it eased out. My girlfriend was my pillar of strength,” Hales said about his family’s support during the crisis.
Talking about England winning the World Cup in 2019, Hales said, “This is the best chance we have got. Being the host, we know the conditions. We have been a tight squad for probably three years now. The team combination has not changed too much. Most of the guys are in their late twenties, and that’s the time to peak up quickly. With a talented squad at home, it will be up to us to ensure that we leave nothing in the tank.”
Talking about the upcoming India tour to England, Hales said, “It’s great playing India. We had a great tour against them last year (in 2016-2017), it was a high-scoring series, where India won the T20s and the ODIs. It was competitive, and this time, hopefully, we will return the favour. I am hoping we win the series at home. Any Indian team that travels, or when we play them, you know it will be a brilliant team because of the talent they have got here. It is a world-class team, and if we have to beat them, we have to improve our game as well. May be, we can do that. It will be a tough contest.”
Talking about the likes of Kohli, Pujara playing county cricket, Hales said, “Absolutely! You see a lot of Australians come over and play county cricket and they seem to enjoy. I think it is a great way to prepare if you have a month or two under your belt to a place where you will be playing five Test matches. It will do them a world of good.”
Talking about the settled England team, Hales said, “It is a good thing to have an idea what your best team is, and know the guys who have had a good run so far. That’s a good thing leading to the World Cup, but at the same time, Australia has got a great record in World Cup, and you can’t write off South Africa either. It is a great team and those guys will be performing well at the World Cup. But it’s nice to see that two sides are settled with their squads and that will be going at the back of their mind.”
He also had a word of advice for Steve Smith and David Warner, saying, “They need to surround themselves by friends and family. It will be a tough time but they will come out of it. They are nice guys. Obviously, it’s a shame what happened. But the biggest healer will be time. With time, people will forgive them and they will be looking forward.”