Sydney Thunder opener Alex Hales says a renewed emphasis on footwork has paved the way for his stunning return to form with the bat.
The Englishman’s technique was exposed by balls that nipped back when he was bowled in consecutive games for golden ducks against the Heat and Scorchers, but that’s long forgotten following a couple of destructive knocks against the Melbourne franchises.
Hales bounced back with a fluent 35 against the Renegades on Boxing Day, but his record-breaking 71 off just 29 deliveries in his side’s big win over the Stars has put the rest of the competition on notice.
The opener smashed five sixes in the 75-run win, including a towering slog sweep off Adam Zampa that sent the ball flying out of Manuka Oval to bring up his half-century off a Thunder record 21 deliveries.
“It’s been a bit hit and miss so far for myself with a couple of noughts and a couple of starts, so to finally get that real matchwinning contribution – which is what you want from your overseas players – was nice to get that under the belt,” he said.
“As an opening batter you can get the occasional low score, but when you really get going, you know it’s going to be your night. That was one of those days when you really get in the zone and cash in.”
A simple change in mindset and a slight adjustment with his footwork has worked wonders for Hales, who is part of a Thunder top order that can’t stop scoring.
🙌 Our fourth win this season and more records:
✅ Club record score of 7/219 🙌
✅ Equal third highest total in @BBL 👀
✅ @AlexHales1 hits fastest 5⃣0️⃣ in club history 🎆
✅ @chrisgreen_93 returns his best @BBL figures of 4-34 👊
The men in green have set club record scores in their past two games thanks to Hales, Callum Ferguson, Usman Khawaja and Oliver Davies, and that trend will continue if their star import continues to fire.
“It’s just about getting through the first few balls,” he said.
“There’s been a little bit of swing and seam at the top with the brand new ball, particularly under the lights here where there’s definitely a bit of assistance (for the bowlers) in the first few overs.
“I’ve had a couple of nice balls first up and maybe I was a bit lazy with my footwork, so in the nets over the last few days I’ve tried to get my feet moving a bit better and being a bit more switched on for my first few balls.
“Once you get through that, the pitches are pretty good here, so you can look to cash in.”
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