James Taylor has praised the consistency of Alex Hales at the top of England’s batting order ahead of the ICC World T20.
Eoin Morgan’s side face the West Indies in their opening fixture of the tournament on Wednesday, and Taylor believes his Notts Outlaws teammate is his country’s most established batsman in the format heading into the global tournament.
“I reckon he’s been England’s most consistent player in Twenty20 cricket,” said Taylor.
“He’s been able to set that platform more often than not.
“You just need to look at his record. He’s got a good average and strike-rate.
“With the way you have to play in T20, it’s not always easy to be consistent, so to be England’s most reliable player in the format, over a number of years, is a really good effort.”
Hales has been a mainstay of the three lions T20 batting line-up since making his debut in 2011.
Much of the intervening period saw him spend a significant period at the top of the ICC’s world batting rankings. He currently occupies third place behind Aaron Finch and Virat Kohli.
It’s not, however, too lofty a position to be picking up a few tips from his friend and county colleague, with Hales recently crediting Taylor for his increased ability to intelligently pace an innings against the white ball.
And while the 26-year-old batsman admitted that the compliment came as a surprise, he admits to noticing a difference in the way his Notts and England teammate has been playing.
Hales passed 50 in five successive innings during the recent One-Day International series in South Africa, culminating in a century in the final fixture.
Taylor believes that success was testament to Hales’ ever expanding ability to play to the game situation.
“Something I certainly wasn’t expecting from Alex Hales was a compliment, but that kind of thing is always nice to hear,” said Taylor.
“It’s something I pride myself on in one day cricket and being able to pace an innings and adapt to the situation that’s put in-front of you, it’s something he has shown this winter.”
He added: “The main thing for England is setting a platform,” he said. “If we can get runs in the top-order, the boys can explode later.
“With the likes of Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes to come, the firepower in our batting line-up is right up there in the world.
“There’s talent running the whole way through and we’ve got some serious skills with the ball. If we get runs on the board, I’m sure we’ll go far in this tournament and I wish them the best of luck.”