Morgan backs Hales for ODIs

  • Last Updated: May 21 2014, 9:06 BST

Eoin Morgan believes Alex Hales has all the required skills to be able to successfully adapt his powerful Twenty20 batting for the one-day international format.

Alex Hales: Top-scored for England at The Oval
Alex Hales: Top-scored for England at The Oval

Hales' 66 from 41 balls kept England in contention for much of the NatWest Twenty20 against world champions Sri Lanka at The Oval, before the hosts fell nine runs short of their opponents' 183 for seven on Tuesday night.

Morgan acknowledged the part played by the tourists' captain Lasith Malinga, whose figures of three for 28 - including the wicket of Hales - prevented England getting any closer.

The stand-in Twenty20 captain also mentioned in despatches the efforts of short-format debutant seamer Harry Gurney.

But setting aside his disappointment that England had come up short and been unable to repeat their defeat of Sri Lanka at the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh - where Hales made an unbeaten century - Morgan singled out the opener again.

"Again Hales' continued form in international cricket has been brilliant," he said.

Asked if the Nottinghamshire big-hitter could be just as effective in 50-over cricket, Morgan added: "I can't see why not."

Hales has yet to be picked in the intermediate format, and England are about to take on Sri Lanka without him in five ODIs - starting back at The Oval on Thursday.

"It's the new way of getting your way in, how modern cricketers start - in Twenty20 and move in from there," said Morgan.

"There's certainly no reason why not if he applies himself in the right way."

Gurney also did Notts proud, unflattered by figures of two for 26.

"Harry Gurney had a great debut," said his captain.

"He showed great clarity of thought and a great level of skill - especially against Thisara Perera, who is capable of smashing the ball to all parts at the end.

"He has shown great skill at the death today, and done that at Notts for quite some time."

Gurney's left-arm angle provides a new variety to England's attack, Morgan points out.

"He's got something different," he said.

"It used to be Jade Dernbach who had something different in our team, and that worked for a while. Now it's Harry Gurney.

"The more he plays, the more he learns - and I think the more he'll improve."