Southampton: He was the wrecker-in-chief with the ball as England clinched a series-equalising win against India in the third Test here but England coach Peter Moores said spinner Moeen Ali was included in the side as a batsman.
Moeen claimed six for 67 in India’s second innings to help England secure a series-levelling 266-run victory at the Ageas Bowl.
“Moeen is in the side as a batter and a very rapidly emerging spin bowler. I think Mo had a bit of a turning point before the Lord’s Test. Testament to some of the feedback that he got — I think Ian Bell was quite important in that — you can get feedback about the pace and lines that are difficult for batsmen to play,” Moores was quoted as saying by the media here.
“Belly is a fantastic player of spin so he fed back to one of his teammates, ‘Well, actually, I find that really difficult or that pace is quite nice for me.’ That’s what good teams should do, while Bell was batting in the nets, and then Mo decides what to do. You improve because you talk and work with people,” explained the coach.
Moores lauded Moeen for adjusting quickly to his bowling role.
“His run-rate came down and he created some pressure. Test cricket is about how rapidly people grow in it and he’s grown very quickly as a bowler. Hopefully, that carries on. He’s a very sensible lad, he knows he's got to keep doing a lot of work,” he said.
“He does two things that are essential for a top-flight spinner — he attacks both edges. He gets great drift and then turns the ball. So he spins the ball hard. Without those two things, it is very difficult.
“If you only attack one edge of the bat, people can work you out quite fast. But because Mo creates drift, that I think is a challenge for all batters. He can nick people off,” Moores added.
“Moeen is a very level-headed bloke and that is one of his real strengths. He stays calm under pressure.” (PTI)