BRISTOL - Bad weather put England batsman Alex Hales's one-day international debut on hold as rain washed out the series opener with India at Bristol on Monday without a ball being bowled. Hosts England were due to play world champions India in the first of a five-match series at the south-west ground but persistent overnight and early morning rain prevented play starting as scheduled at 10:30am local time (0930GMT).

The latest a 20 overs per side match -- the minimum length required to declare a result -- could have started was 3:47pm (1447GMT) but with the rain showing no sign of stopping, the umpires announced the match had ended in a no-result washout ay 1:30pm (1230GMT). Hard-hitting Nottinghamshire opener Hales has appeared in 32 Twenty20s for England and scored his country's first century in cricket's shortest format against when he made 116 not out from 64 balls against Sri Lanka at the World Twenty20 in March.

The 25-year, due to partner England captain Alastair Cook at the top of the order, has been tipped as the man to revive the team's often staid approach with the bat in the opening overs of a one-day game. India, the 50-over world champions, were looking to bounce back following their 3-1 defeat in the preceding Test series, a campaign that ended with England winning the final two matches by an innings.

Last year, India beat England in the final of the 50-over Champions Trophy at Edgbaston, although rain reduced that match to a 20 overs per side contest. This year's five-match contest marks the start of both teams lead-in to next year's one-day World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. India have now put former all-rounder Ravi Shastri put in "overall charge" of the side, with coach Duncan Fletcher, the former England boss, retaining his position despite being criticised following the Test series defeat. The series continues with Wednesday's second one-day international in Cardiff.