Alex Hales is slowly becoming the man of the moment in English cricket. After making his One-Day International debut against India earlier this week, the Nottinghamshire opener is set to continue at the top of the order when the national side take to the Trent Bridge turf on Saturday morning.
Despite falling to a 133-run defeat in their previous outing, England will look to draw level in the five-match series and after top-scoring at the SWALEC, Hales will be looking to lead from the front once more.
“The job of the top four is to get 100,” he said.
“One of the top four has to put their hand up and get a big hundred.
“I’ve showed the world that I’m more than the ‘T20 slogger’, and to be able to do so at my home ground is special.
“We’re not hiding from the fact that it was a poor team performance all round in the last one.”
Hales has been a revelation in 2014. After a difficult season in the preceding summer which saw him dropped from Nottinghamshire’s LV= County Championship side and consider becoming a T20 specialist, he has returned with renewed vigour and ambition.
Where he averaged just 13 in red-ball cricket in 2013, he now tops Nottinghamshire’s LV=CC averages with 56.53. He has also excelled in 50-over cricket for Notts Outlaws and England Lions, scoring centuries for both.
“I’ve always felt ready to play for England in 50-over cricket,” he said.
“The selectors told me I had to work on my consistency, I did that through the winter and this summer and now I have seen the rewards.
“Test cricket has always been at the back of my mind, and is something I would love to do.”
Nottinghamshire’s Harry Gurney could also feature for the national side in the Trent Bridge ODI, after a wayward performance from Chris Jordan looked to loosen his position in the side.
Gurney has risen to prominence since moving to Trent Bridge ahead of the 2012 season, and has become one of England’s frontline seam options in white-ball cricket. His individual action and left-arm approach could offer captain Alastair Cook a different angle to take in seeing off India’s in-form batsmen.
Play begins in Trent Bridge’s sold-out Royal London One-Day International at 10:30.