Hales: Cook is the best captaincy option

England

England batsman Alex Hales has come out in defence of opening partner and skipper Alastair Cook, saying the Essex man is the right person to lead the side, despite criticisms and calls for him to step down.

England batsman Alex Hales has come out in defence of opening partner and skipper Alastair Cook, saying the Essex man is the right person to lead the side, despite criticisms and calls for him to step down.

Hales was responding to questions about former England spinner Graeme Swann's comments, in which he said Cook should step away from the one-day side completely and let a younger, more in form player, open with Hales.

Hales said of Swann's comments: "Everyone are entitled to their opinion but the guys in the dressing room are 100 per cent behind Alastair.

"If you look at his record in one-day cricket it's a pretty good one and all of the guys are backing him to lead us to bounce back in the series.

"He's been very confident throughout this series. I've only been with him for a short period of time but he is very confident.

"We got off to a pretty good start in that game with a 50 partnership. He is technically sound and I think he will show people he's the right guy at the top of the order."

The third ODI against India, who lead the series one nil, will be played at Trent Bridge on Saturday, which is Hales' home ground. He felt the pitch would be a good one, despite it being slow and below-par in the Test series.

Hales continued: "We're expecting a very good one. Normally the one-day wickets we play on at Trent Bridge are good batting tracks and I'm expecting a high-scoring game.

"Both teams have strong batting line-ups and it should be a good game. We're not hiding from the fact that it was a poor team performance all round in the last one.

"We've wiped the slate clean and we're feeling fresh heading into the game."

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