Hales believes England hold mental edge


England Opener Alex Hales, is of the belief that his team hold a psychological advantage over Pakistan after overcoming a 100 run first innings deficit to win the third Test at Edgbaston.

Hales shared a century opening stand with Alasatir Cook for the first time, with the pair erasing Pakistan's advantage before the close of play on day three.

The opener addressed the media at a press conference ahead of the final Test at the Oval:"It was a brilliant win to turn it around the way we did,

"They bowled well on day one but we managed to drag the game back brilliantly with our batting in the second innings and showed a lot of patience and desire to drag it back as a team."

Hales was happy with his contribution but conceded he would have liked to cash in on the start and convert his half century to three figures: "I'm satisfied but disappointed not to go on the morning after,

"The period me and Cooky batted at the end of day three was pivotal in setting the game up and if we'd lost one or two wickets that session they'd have gone into the fourth day with their tails up. It was a key period in the game.

"On a personal level the runs haven't come as I would have liked so far having got a couple of good balls and played a couple of rash shots so I made a few adjustments to my technique against the left-armers and still feel I'm heading in the right direction.

"I think the second innings at Edgbaston showed that but at the same time it's about scoring runs and getting results and I know I need to score more, particularly in this Test coming up.

"South Africa didn't go to plan but I showed improvements against Sri Lanka. Obviously this series hasn't quite gone to plan but I've shown people what I can do and this Test is a really important one for me.

"If I can show some form hopefully that will get me on some winter tours but I do still feel like I'm improving and that's important to me.

"The second innings was so important for us. A few of us were disappointed not to go on and get bigger scores but the scores we did get contributed to a big win for English cricket and that will do our confidence a lot of good.

"Something I've learnt is not to go out and bat with any pre-conceived ideas. I don't want to be a guy who is known for blocking it nor hits it to all parts.

"You have to be adaptable to each situation. If they bowl well I want to be good enough to see it off and if they bowl poorly still have the intention to hit the bad balls. Just play the situation."

England could leapfrog Australia and take over the number 1 ranking if results go their way elsewhere, with Hales admitting that would boost a young English team.

Hales added: "It would be an incredible feeling, particularly for a team who are still learning and developing,

"If we perform as well as we did in the last two Tests hopefully we can win this series and if we can get the No 1 spot that's incredibly exciting for us.

"Lord's wasn't a great start for us but one of the things we've identified is that they have a four-man attack and the deeper we can take our batting and get their seamers into their third and fourth spells and make Shah bowl 30 to 40 overs there will be a good chance fatigue will set in for them.

"The stats said that with a hundred-run deficit you only win three per cent of the time so for us to bounce back the way we did when we had our backs to the wall said a lot about our character and it could also deflate them.

"We can't afford to get complacent. We have to show the same amount of hunger and desire here that we showed at Old Trafford and Edgbaston."