“I felt in good touch the last couple of games, it was a bit of a tricky start with the swing and the bounce we had at Perth and Melbourne. But the last three pitches we’ve had have been a bit better to bat on in the power play, so to cash in was just next-level special.”
As for the disparity in BBL experience between England’s players – 10 out of 11 who played in Adelaide had seen at least one season in the Australian competition – and India’s, Hales had a simple message for his opponents: join in!
“It’s a shame that Indian guys don’t get a chance to play in different leagues,” he said. “It would be good for everyone, benefit them and benefit the leagues to have the best players in the world playing.
“[Adelaide] is a ground where I’ve played a lot of cricket in the past and enjoyed some success. To have that sort of mindset before you head out there on a big occasion probably settles the nerves a bit and gives you confidence that you can put on a performance like that.
“Anytime you get the chance to play in foreign conditions makes you a better cricketer and makes you understand those conditions. Hopefully going forward, they get a chance to play in different leagues. It’s definitely helped me, for sure.”
As for the MCG and memories of 1992’s World Cup final won by Imran Khan’s side, Hales does not have any, since he was three years old at the time. But he acknowledges the MCG, wet or not, will ask different questions of England.
“Funnily enough, it’s actually a ground I haven’t had that much success at, the MCG. It’s very different conditions and dimensions to what you get here,” he said.
“But it’s an incredible atmosphere and a big occasion. You have to hit the ball in different areas with the wider boundaries and shorter straight, so it’s very different game plan. We have to make sure we adapt.
“Both teams know each other like the back of our hands. Very strong side, one of the best bowling attacks I’ve faced for sure, and some of the best top order players in the world. Whoever handles the pressure the best will win the tournament.”
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