Alex Hales isn’t very warm

Posted by
2 minute read


By all accounts, the door to Test selection has now been opened by Alex Hales. Barring injury he will take his place in the England side that will face South Africa on Boxing Day. He could do with warming up a bit though.

England’s first warm-up match, against a South African Invitational “XI”, saw him start lukewarm before cooling to tepid. Or maybe he started tepid and cooled to lukewarm. We’re not sure. He ended up at the cooler one though – eight off 42 balls (second innings) being limper than eight off 10 balls (first innings).

There are two ways of looking at this. Firstly, has Hales come down with a case of the Jos Buttlers even before making his Test debut?

The self-aware, ruminative part of Jos Buttler’s brain increasingly paralysed him in Test cricket over the last year, denying him the ability to play the natural game which apparently didn’t come quite as naturally to him as everyone seemed to believe. Is Hales suffering from something similar?

We always maintain that there is no pressure quite so intense as that which is self-applied. If Alex Hales considers Test cricket to be the real deal and his major ambition, maybe he’s already feeling the weight of his own expectations. Perhaps this pair of fat ladies foreshadows Test subsidence to come.

The second way of looking at things is of course that warm-up matches are a meaningless load of balls and so performances within them are also a meaningless load of balls. This does of course beg the question why they are played at all, but who’s to say that isn’t a perfectly valid question to ask?


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Don’t rate him. Never have. Can we skip this experiment and just move directly on to the next makeshift opener?

    Do Varun Chopra or Ian Westwood get a go?

      1. I accidently picked Angus Robson for three Ashes Tests on International Cricket ?Captain. He didn’t do very well. I’d intended to pick Sam Robson which, in hindsight, doesn’t seem like a great idea either. It also highlights the lack of realism is the game: if the simulation extended to sitting down for a meal with the players, and riding in the bus with them to the game, it probably wouldn’t have taken me three tests to realise I’d picked the wrong Robson.

  2. Given the squad picked, it’s basically two from three players to bat 2 and 3: Hales, Compton and Ballance. If Hales 2, then Compton or Ballance 3 (probably Compton), if Compton 2, then Ballance or Hales 3 (probably Ballance).

    Not sure it is the way I want (this tiny little bit of) the world to be, but I think I have described the way it is.

    1. The bottom line being that Compton’s very likely to play. Which is very interesting/odd if you consider where things were a few months ago re. Compton. Or “@thecompdog”, as I suppose we must call him now.

  3. I think that in going from scoring 8 off 10 balls to 8 off 40-odd, he’s shown he is making the transition from limited-overs to Test cricket with aplomb…

Comments are closed.