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When waiting for the ball, Hales is 'looking to attack, attack'

Karachi, 21 September 2022: Alex Hales termed his extraordinary return to England colours as “stuff dreams are made of” while reviewing his 40-ball 53. The 33-year-old set up his side’s six-wicket win in the first of the seven T20 Internationals on what is the visitors’ first tour of the country in 17 years.

He sat down with PCB Digital in the lead-up to the series in which he spoke about his return to the England side after more than three years, how he approaches batting in T20 cricket and his training regime, and the role of the HBL Pakistan Super League in the days of his international wilderness.

Below are the excerpts from the interview:

Q. How does it feel to be back in the side after three years?

A. I have been out of the team for three years, which felt like a lot longer than three years. To get a chance to play for England again is a huge honour and to get to do it in a country where I spent a lot of time and played a lot of cricket means a lot to me. So, I'm really looking forward to the next couple of weeks. 

Q. You have been here before for the HBL Pakistan Super League. What role has it played in sort of keeping you motivated during that period and your eventual return to the England colors? 

A. It has played a big part. It is a place where I have enjoyed success as a batter. And it's a tough place to come and play. All the guys, all the seam bowlers seem to bowl 140-150KPH. So it's a tough place to come as an opener. Everyone bowls fast and is very motivated to get out the overseas players. It is a tough place to come and play as a cricketer, but you definitely learn and definitely get better. 

Q. If we can get into your head, what are you thinking when you are waiting for a bowler to bowl at you? What makes you such an explosive batter?

A. I think I am fortunate in a way to bat in the powerplay. I think the powerplay is the best place to bat as a batter in T20 cricket. I am just constantly looking to hit boundaries, to be honest with only two guys out in the ring, I think you've got a lot of opportunities to hit boundaries.

Ball one, I am looking to attack the ball to put them under pressure and see what they are made of. When a bowler is coming, I am looking to hit four, four, six, I am just looking to attack, attack.

It has worked out for me so far. 

Q. How do you train to hit the ball long and so cleanly?

A. I think something that's helped me the last few years particularly is range hitting - just going out into the middle of the ground and just hitting sixes, just getting used to that feeling of hitting the middle of the bat and seeing the ball sail into the ropes. I think that is something that you see players doing a lot more now, just that confidence of knowing that you can hit a six if you get hold of the ball at any time.

That is something that's definitely work for my mindset for sure.