Nixon: Hales Could
Become Test Opener
Featured News | 29th August 2014
Nottinghamshire star Alex Hales can become England's answer to Aussie David Warner at the top of their Test match batting order.
That's the view of former international wicket-keeper Paul Nixon, who says the destructive opener can step up in the five-day game for his country, as well in the shorter formats.
Hales has already become a regular for the Three Lions in T20 cricket and last week received a call-up for the 50-over one-day series against India.
He was all set to open the batting on his ODI debut on Monday in Bristol but the game was washed out, with the second ODI tomorrow in Cardiff.
And Nixon, who played 20 times for his country and enjoyed a county career spanning 22 years with Leicestershire, is convinced the 25-year-old has all the tools to be a destructive influence in red ball international cricket.
"For me, Alex Hales deserves to be in the one-day side and I think he has the ability to bat in the Test side too," he said.
"I've talked him up for years and I'm one of his biggest supporters and fans. I love watching him bat and the way he strikes a cricket ball is second to none.
"A lot of cricket at the top level is about confidence and belief. Technically he has the game, he just has to make sure he applies himself well and his mind is in a good place."
Hales' 50-over England call-up comes on the back of an incredible run of form that has seen him notch five centuries inside the last 30 days in all formats.
His run started with 116 against Sussex at Horsham on July 27 and has followed that up with 101 for England Lions against Sri Lanka at Taunton, 141 against Middlesex at Lord's, 102 not out against Northampton at Wantage Road and 104 against Warwickshire at Trent Bridge.
Nixon, who is playing alongside Steve Harmison, Jason Gallian and Darren Maddy in a Greene King England Legends Game at Welbeck Cricket Club, near Warsop, on Friday evening, added: "There's no question you can have someone attacking like he is at the top of the order. Just look at Michael Slater and now David Warner for Australia.
"They both gave their team such a great impetus at the start of an innings and, if things go well, it can be a game changer. Alex can do that."
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