Hales ready to lay down Twenty20 marker

Alex Hales insists a good display against South Africa in the upcoming Twenty20 international series will provide England a great platform in the format’s global showpiece.

With the World Twenty20 taking place in India next month, England will look to lay down a marker by beating South Africa in the two-match series starting this Friday.

They will face a South Africa side rejuvenated by their thrilling efforts in the recent one-day internationals, but a change in formats gives Hales plenty of confidence.

“The last couple of years we’ve played some really good Twenty20 cricket,” Hales said.

“We have got some momentum heading into these games, but these guys are a very good Twenty20 side so it’s important for us we do find some form heading into that big tournament.”

Hales will hope to play another key role for England in the T20s. In the ODIs against the Proteas, the Nottinghamshire batsman enjoyed a productive spell, scoring a half-century in the first four, before a century in Cape Town.

The 27-year-old said: “I was obviously very disappointed with how the Tests went. But it was my first crack at it, and I feel I learned a lot from it.

“It was good to find some form with the white ball, and I feel in good touch going into these Twenty20s.

“We’ve got a big couple of months now, with the Twenty20 World Cup.”

England’s World Twenty20 campaign begins on March 16 against West Indies, as the Three Lions bid to make it a second title in the global tournament.

Much like when he is batting, a confident Hales summed up England’s mood by saying: “It’s definitely the best side I’ve been involved with in Twenty20, with a hell of lot of young ball-strikers and a good bowling attack as well.

“I think it’s a really exciting time – with the talent and firepower we have in our squad, people who can hit sixes all the way down to number 11. I think we’ve got a good chance.”

Source: ECB

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