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Alex Hales: We are lot more prepared
- England opener hopes to play in IPL next year

Nottingham: Having being part of the Nottinghamshire County team for about six years since 2008, England’s latest recruit Alex Hales has said that he is looking forward to taking on India in the third ODI here on Saturday.

It will be a special occasion for the youngster, who will be playing his first ODI at his home ground, Trent Bridge.

“I’m really looking forward to it. All the international games here at Trent Bridge are very special occasions, a very good atmosphere and I’m really excited to get out there in front of a home crowd.

“Hopefully, as a team we can bounce back against India as well,” said Hales, who made his ODI debut in the 133-run loss at Cardiff.

“It was a little frustrating waiting for that chance in 50-over cricket. I’ve always felt at home in Twenty20 cricket, the pressure that comes with playing in front of the big screen and playing for your country.

So, I have always felt ready to make the step up to ODIs. But the selectors have said that I have to show more consistency across all three formats. That’s something I’ve had to go away and work on, and I hope I’ve shown that,” he added.

Hales was the top-scorer at Cardiff, getting 40 runs off 63 balls, and gave a good start to his team in a tall chase. He put up 54 runs with Alastair Cook for the first wicket.

“It was the first time I batted with Cook,” said Hales. “He doesn’t talk a lot, only says the basic stuff you always talk about in the middle.

“I really enjoyed the start we had, and hope there are more of those partnerships to come. Obviously, it’s only been one game but to get off to a 50-run start is pretty good.

“We’re still learning about each other’s games, talking with each other in the nets about where our single options are, what our boundary options are and I hope we can forge a good partnership heading into the World Cup,” he added.

Hales’ innings was probably the only bright spark for England in the second ODI, a game which was otherwise dominated by India.

“The Indian bowlers were just very cunning in Cardiff,” said Hales.

Speaking about Saturday’s match, he said: “I am expecting a very good wicket. Usually the one-day wickets we play on here at Nottingham are outstanding batting tracks and I’m expecting a high-scoring game. On a very good, flat Trent Bridge wicket it should be a lot easier to score. India set a smart field in Cardiff and had a gully in place a lot of the time to stop that easy one-run down to third man. But we feel a lot more prepared now, heading into Saturday”.

Hales was part of the IPL auctions this year, but he didn’t receive a bid because apparently he had set his base price too high. The explosive batsman the only one to score a T20I hundred for England earlier this year in the World Cup in Bangladesh still hopes to play T20 cricket in the sub-continent.

“I’m not sure what the price arrangement is, but I do definitely still hope to enter the auction next year. I think the plan at the moment is to make that base price lower. But I haven’t had any initial discussions as yet,” he signed off.