August 1, 2014

England cricket

Serene Moeen could fill spin void

One quality that Moeen Ali has shown in his short Test career is serenity, writes Scyld Berry in the Telegraph. He showed it while scoring a century at Headlingley, he showed it while fielding at long leg, cut off from the rest, and he showed the same quality while bowling in the second innings at Ageas Bowl. It is also the quality that might help Moeen fill up the void left by Graeme Swann, Berry suggests.

Graeme Swann would surely have bowled better than Moeen did to India's left-handers, Shikhar Dhawan and Ravi Jadeja, sliding the ball into their pads. But would he have bowled better, on the day, against India's right-handers? There is no guarantee. Moeen has now registered a century and 18 wickets at 32 runs each in his first five Tests. He may take nought for 100 at Old Trafford, if India bat first, but he is still on course to become England's specialist spinner - who can bat.

England lost the Lord's Test in the first session by not making full use of helpful conditions and India lost the Southampton Test in the second session when MS Dhoni asked Ravindra Jadeja to bowl a negative line to two well-set left-handers Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance, writes Aakash Chopra in Mid-Day.

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