Alex Hales’ disappointed face after being dismissed

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Alex Hales (Channel 5)
Alex Hales (Channel 5)

Yesterday Alastair Cook played far and away the most entertaining reverse sweeps and ramp shots we’ve ever seen. Proof, if it were needed, that context is everything. With 10,000 runs of back story, this was a proper plot twist.

In contrast, Alex Hales’ daddy fifties are a new story. This series the opener has made scores of 86, 83 and 94 and when he was dismissed for the third of those, he really did look like he was fighting back tears.

In coming years, it will be intriguing to see whether Hales or Joe Root has the most expressive hugely-disappointed-at-being-dismissed demeanour. Hales did good facial work, but Root’s hanging head and bat-dragging probably gives him the edge at this stage.

Root has had longer to find his feet at international level though. As Hales becomes more accustomed to the deeper emotions that come with a Test dismissal, we can surely expect to see more full body work. The bat over the shoulder, shielding his face from cameras was perhaps a taste of what’s to come.

It’s tough to work on these things under the harsh and unremitting glare of the Test spotlight, but the best players always find a way.


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  1. Thanks for clarifying in the hover caption, I thought initially that the disappointed face was the face of his bat (which, if it were sentient, would of course be disappointed at not being involved in a century, assuming that it wasn’t just angry about the whole “being smacked repeatedly in the face with a cricket ball” thing).

  2. Looking forward to seeing Nick Compton’s ‘I know this is my last ever day of Test cricket but I’m going to pretend everything’s alright’ face.

    1. We’re not. It will of course be on display. It’s just that we find the whole thing rather sad.

      1. It’s part and parcel of the tough nature of test cricket – it’s a dog-eat-compdog world.

      1. It’s hard to maintain a tone of solemnity for someone with such a ridiculous Twithandle. Fortunately Derbyshire’s Alex Hughes (@yozza18) seems unlikely to make international cricket…

    2. Some words by Scyld Berry specifically on the subject of Compton’s inevitable axeing, put into the context of a previous thread:

      “At least he has the consolation of going out to sympathetic applause at the home of cricket. Had Compton made it to Australia, he might have played his last Test innings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or Adelaide Oval, and departed with the lingering memory of deafening abuse.

      “But then Lord’s is gracious. It is unlike everywhere else in the professional game, and the reason why lies in that sobriquet “the home of cricket”. Throw in “spiritual” and it would be pretentious, but not as it stands. Even its physically closest relation, the Oval across the river, is a ground – whereas people at Lord’s behave as if there are in somebody’s home.”

      What a privelege it is to tread your final steps in test cricket upon The Hallowed Turf of Lord’s – that which might make a serviceable carpet in one’s lounge.

      1. We don’t have lounges around here, Mike. We have sitting rooms, drawing rooms or (if feeling a bit slummy) living rooms. We don’t have carpets around here, Mike. We have wooden floors, ideally the original oak floorboards painstakingly restored.

        I don’t know about you, KC, but when I am in somebody’s home I do not pop champagne corks aiming for maximum cork velocity/distance while ignoring the inevitable spillage of copious libatic substances all over my host’s lounge carpet.

      2. I am not sure it matters to someone getting axed whether he “treads the final steps” at Lord’s or Colombo. These are professionals who have demonstrated enough capability to represent their country – you don’t get to that level being a sentimental puppy. Their overriding emotion would be disgust and disappointment at being left out, not gratitude that it happened at Lord’s.

        I wish I could line up every journalist who goes on and on about Lord’s and smack each of them in the face with a wet towel.

      3. Wouldn’t a slap in the face with a wet towel make those journalists even more dewey-eyed, Deep Cower?

        I’m comfortable with your intention but not with your specific proposal. Needs more thought.

  3. Chris Gayle is talking about Chris Gayle on the wireless. Not short of self confidence, is he?

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