Eoin Morgan has not ruled out an England return for in-form Alex Hales.
England’s white-ball skipper has taken note of the explosive batsman’s brilliance in the BBL but insists trust still needs to be rebuilt before he can step back into the side.
Hales was dropped ahead of the successful World Cup on home soil after failing a test for recreational drugs for a second time. However, he has now caught the eye by smashing 568 runs in 16 innings for Sydney Thunder in Australia’s Big Bash League.
When asked if there was a chance of Hales returning, Morgan told Sky Sports: “Yes, absolutely.
“Alex is in fantastic form for Sydney Thunder at the moment but his form has never been a question about him coming back into the squad.
“What happened prior to the World Cup last summer was a complete breakdown in trust between Alex and the team.
“The way back in for Alex is to try and rebuild that trust and that takes a considerable amount of time. We are in that time at the moment.”
Morgan building strength in depth
Morgan was speaking ahead of England’s ODI series against South Africa.
The first clash in Cape Town starts on Tuesday. It will be the first time England have played an ODI since their World Cup win, but the captain is keen to also use these games to build squad strength ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
He added: “I think we use ODIs as a great opportunity to build strength in depth throughout our squad,” said Morgan.
“This series, as a starting point, will see guys come in and make their debuts and give people opportunities to stake a claim for positions that have been cemented for some time now.
“One of our strengths going into the last World Cup was competition for places and guys in those positions becoming not just very good England players but world-class international players.”
The three-match series could also see batsman Tom Banton and bowlers Saqid Mahmood and Matt Parkinson make their ODI debuts.
England will be without the rested Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.