The tensions between Alex Hales and the England Cricket officials are certainly rising with every coming day. Recently, it was learned that Hales was given a break from the game owing to personal reasons, but then a Guardian report revealed that he has been handed a three-week suspension for failing a recreational drug test. In the latest development, he has been dropped from all of the England squads ahead of the international season and most importantly, his name has been withdrawn from the earlier announced 15-member preliminary squad for the upcoming 2019 World Cup.
England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan had earlier stated that there was a complete breakdown of trust between the national team players and Hales. And now the Test skipper Joe Root has admitted that Alex Hales’ omission has actually unified the England team.
The focus is back on cricket
During a conversation with the media reporters after the wash-out of the first ODI against Pakistan, Root mentioned that it is good for the group that they are back at playing the game with high energies. He also noted that it a great thing that the focus has shifted back to cricket leading upto the all-important 2019 World Cup.
“Yes, absolutely. Now we’re back playing cricket, that is really good for the group. We can concentrate on our full focus being on the cricket going into the World Cup,” quoted Joe Root on the affect of Hales’ exclusion.
Root further also talked about Jofra Archer’s performance so far and reckoned that the speedster has been very much impressive. Before the rain halted the proceedings of the first ODI, Archer registered excellent figures of 4-2-6-1. However, Root also noted that it is still early to decide whether the all-rounder should be a part of that World Cup squad or not.
“He’s been extremely impressive so far. It’s early days, but the way he bowled yesterday was particularly good. When guys come in and perform well, that is good for the squad. If guys are performing at the best of their ability, that will improve the standard of the group,” Root added.
While speaking on whether Archer’s inclusion has created any rifts amongst the players, Root said, “I don’t think he’s created any rifts, uncertainty, or problems in the team, it’s purely providing competition and that can only be a good thing.”
The English Test captain stated that Archer will definitely have a huge amount of cricket and opportunities coming in his way in the future. “There’s a huge of amount of cricket and chances for him, along with a lot of other guys. The selectors will make sure they weigh everything up carefully and cleverly. They will pick a squad of players that is performing well and are fit and ready to go,” Root concluded.