England opener Alex Hales accepts he needs to make some major contributions to gain promotion from the fringe of the squad to an assured place at the top of the batting order for next year’s World Cup on home soil.
With Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy on target to lock out the opening slots, Hales will almost certainly have to step aside for Ben Stokes when the explosive all-rounder returns from a hamstring injury.
“I’ve got to try and get my place back,” Hales said ahead of the third one-dayer against Australia on Tuesday.
“I guess now I’m in that position where I’m on the fringes and any chance I can get, it’s up to me to convert big runs and put some pressure on Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.”
“Looking at the way things are now, I’m the one who drops out once Stokes comes back. That’s what happened when we went from Australia into the New Zealand series.”
Hales has scored one half-century in his last three one-dayers, against Scotland earlier this month, and is naturally aware of the importance of doing well against Australia at the number three position.
“It’s up to me to use these three games well and try and score as many runs as possible. It’s up to me to make sure I can stay in form, stay confident and keeping putting pressure on those two,” he said.
“It’s absolutely my aim to win back a place in the side ahead of the World Cup. But we have a very strong squad, with some seriously talented players who can’t get in it.
“It’s good healthy competition and it keeps everyone on their toes. It keeps everyone striving to improve, which is important.”