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Mark Butcher: 'Alex Hales should open for England'

Ex-England batsman Mark Butcher believes that Alex Hales should open the batting in the Test series against Pakistan instead of Moeen Ali.

Former England batsman Mark Butcher has claimed that Alex Hales should open the batting in the Test series against Pakistan next month and not Moeen Ali.

It has been suggested that Ali, who usually bats at number eight for England, could open alongside captain Alastair Cook in the United Arab Emirates next month.

Nottinghamshire opener Hales has been handed his first Test call-up for the three-match series, and Butcher has said that it is he who should get the nod.

"They picked Alex Hales as the specialist opener on this trip and I for one hope that they pick him to play," he told Sky Sports News.

"There's a lot of talk that perhaps somebody like Moeen Ali could move up and open because of the different conditions in the UAE, but Pakistan's quick bowlers are exceptional, no matter what the conditions are and opening the batting is a specialist position.

"I hope Alex Hales gets a run at it. If he does well then obviously you've got the trip to South Africa coming straight after that, where England are going to need a specialist opener."

The first Test begins in Abu Dhabi on October 13.

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Moeen Ali in action for England on day two of the first Test of The Ashes on July 9, 2015
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