England v India, 5th Investec Test, The Oval August 13, 2014

Role model Moeen setting high standard

His rapid improvement with the ball has been integral to England coming from behind to lead the series - but that is just one area where Moeen Ali continues to impress
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Moeen Ali: 'I've worked hard on my bowling'

A bad back in the nets when he was 14 may have been the moment that defined Moeen Ali's career. Early in his days in the Warwickshire youth set-up he bowled seam-up, but an injury prompted him to tell Steve Perryman, the then bowling coach at Edgbaston, that he was able to send down a few spinners. Two balls was all it took before Perryman told Moeen, "Right, you are a spinner from now."

Fast forward to August 2014 and he sits on the verge of having the most successful series by an England spinner against India. Currently he has 19 wickets at 22.94 following two match-winning spells at the Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford, giving England a 2-1 lead in the Investec Test series. Even if you disregard the endless suggestions that he was no more than a "part-time" spinner to begin with, it is a remarkable story.

"I don't know how I'm getting these wickets but I'm happy to," he said with a laugh, reflecting on a few weeks which have strengthened what had already been a developing cult status within English cricket.

MS Dhoni has insisted India need to attack Moeen, but there is more than a suggestion that the visitors have not adjusted their gameplans in line with Moeen's improvement. At Old Trafford their attitude to him was brazen.

"They felt I was an easy target, a guy they could get easy runs from, which has helped me quite a bit," Moeen said. "If they attack me, now I'm bowling well, I've got a chance. But they're very good players of spin. I don't know how I'm getting these wickets but I'm happy to! I feel like I'm on top and I feel I can get players out."

He has also largely shelved the doosra for now after realising he can work over batsmen with the conventional offspinner, allied to drift and, what Shane Warne likes to term, natural variation.

"Yeah, I don't need it at the moment. The way I'm bowling at the moment, attacking both sides of the bat because some of them are going straight on, means I don't really need it. I'd still like to have it in my repertoire but it needs a lot more work."

It is now well known that Ian Bell has played a key role in the transformation of Moeen from a bowler who managed to pick up useful, but often expensive, wickets to someone Alastair Cook is now becoming increasingly confident to throw the ball to with a match to win. "I don't want to get carried away," Moeen said. "But I do feel I've taken a big step towards being a decent Test spinner. I feel like I have more control, and that my captain and team-mates can trust me."

However, it has emerged that Kumar Dharmasena, the Sri Lankan umpire who stood in the first two Tests of the series, also offered some crucial, if unorthodox advice, while standing in an England net session before Lord's. Dharmasena, an offspinner during his playing days, advised Moeen to grab his left pocket with his non-bowling hand as he came through his action to help him get through the delivery at the optimum speed. Moeen noticed the impact immediately.

"As soon as I bowled one ball I knew it would work," he said. "That, for some reason, allows me to bowl quicker and straighter without being flat. I knew that was how I needed to bowl from then on. It's completely different from county cricket. I bowled there in the eye line, as people say, and I didn't have consistency. As soon as I bowled that way for England I got hammered, especially by India and Sri Lanka because they use their feet so well. Even slightly good balls disappear. They're so good at it. So I had to bowl quicker and straighter and to my field a bit more. So far it's been all right, since Lord's."

"All right" is Moeen's modesty coming through. It is one of many admirable character traits, which have at the same time quickly endeared him to the English cricket public - an audience that has had its patience and loyalty tested over the last 12 months - but also made him stand out as a cricketer with a rare understanding of the bigger picture and the wider world around him.

That freedom of expression and thought, however, has created two of the moments where Moeen has witnessed the attention comments and actions will gain from someone of his growing stature. On the second day of the Ageas Bowl Test he batted wearing wrist bands to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The ECB offered its full support but he was told to remove them by the ICC (although, sensibly, not handed any fine or official reprimand).

"I didn't think it would be such a big deal. I just totally forgot I had them on when I went into bat," he said. "Obviously it all came out but it didn't bother me one bit, the media and what people say. Even if I get criticised it doesn't bother me because I just try to get on and do the best I can."

But it did remind him of the focus he will now be under. "I have to be a lot more careful. ICC didn't allow me to wear them and I accepted that. I have a lot of opinions on a lot of stuff but it's not the time and place now to go into it. I wasn't trying to be political it was just a humanitarian thing. I can speak about it but I don't think it's the right time now especially before a Test match. Maybe later on I will speak about it."

Previously, before he made his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Lord's, he gave another open and honest press conference where he spoke with warmth and humility about the importance of being a Muslim (including lighthearted references to the much-talked about beard), the pride it brings and his hopes of being an inspiration for future generations - something he is well on the way to achieving. Sadly, in one major UK newspaper there was a column by a well-known writer, who had not been present at the press conference, that questioned Moeen's motives.

"I didn't want people to think I was trying to be all about my religion and all that kind of stuff, it was just a question I was asked at the time," he said. "It is really the most important thing to me but that's my own thing. With regards to a couple of things that came out, I wasn't that upset about it I just didn't expect it. It doesn't bother me what people write - about my beard or whatever."

And he has a simple approach to keeping himself level, whether in cricket or in life. "I don't really read a lot and am not on Twitter or social stuff so I don't get too excited or too down. I try and be as level as I can and if things do get tough then I can sit back and tell myself it's just a game of cricket - there's more to life than cricket. And when things get too over the top, I do the same thing, bring myself down a little bit."

It does not appear that Moeen will be fazed by his new-found status, but there can be no doubt that his life has changed. "When I go to the shops I get free food and stuff now," he joked, before quickly, and eloquently, explaining how he wants to help benefit others. "A lot more people obviously recognise me and ask me for autographs. It's good because I get a lot of Asian kids especially coming and asking me 'what's it like playing for England?' and 'how do people treat you?' and that kind of stuff.

"That's the kind of barrier I want to try and break down - that people think it is tough and will treat you badly if you're a practising Muslim or whatever. That is the reason I like to play cricket for England - because I can break down barriers for other people and inspire kids, not just Asian kids but all kids, to play.

"Even if I didn't play for England again, speaking to a lot of these kids I can see they're really interested and really want to play for England, which is nice. Previously a lot of them wanted to play for India and Pakistan but now I get a lot more Asians coming up to me saying they're supporting England. That's what I want and that for me makes me happier than anything - a lot of people are supporting England and want us to do well."

Moeen has come a long way from the streets of Birmingham, the kid who bowled seam-up and the allrounder who had to move counties to find a permanent home. But you sense there is still much more to come in the Moeen Ali story.

Investec, the specialist bank and asset manager, is the title sponsor of Test match cricket in England. Visit investec.co.uk/cricket or follow us @InvestecCricket

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 15, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    MA.... He's simply too modest good to see England finally clicking.... Kohli's test and pujara's wicket were classic!.....and your humility gotta appreciate your attitude

  • tjsimonsen on August 15, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    I admit hands down that I was highly critical of MA after the SL series. At that point I saw him as a bits and pieces player. But I have changed my mind. He has bowled very well in this series - especially at Southampton. His line, length and pace were close to perfect, making his drift and natural variation all the more dangerous. Yes, the Indian batsmen weren't playing well, but give some credit to the bowler! He made them look terrible as much (or more) than they made him look great. OK, in the 2nd inning in Manchester, the Indian batsmen looked as incompetent and suicidal as Brazil did against Germany in the WC soccer semi final. I'm still not sure that he is a genuine test no six batsman, but he's proved me wrong before. It remains to be seem how SA and AUS will deal with him (and visa versa). But let's not forget that a few weeks ago, people claimed that he would be eaten alive by the Indian Masters of Spin.

  • on August 14, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    What people dont realise /neglect is that India for all its history of spin bowling have completely failed in the spin department post Kumbke /Harbhajan . Ashwin and Jadeja are not even proper test spinners outside the subcontinent .Pragyan Ojha also struggled in Aus recently but has been given a raw deal to ve honest and in terms of spin bowling is better than Ashwin /Jadeja .Moeen has outbowled Jadeja and though that can be due to incompetence of Indian batsmen Jadeja has not been able to yake even ten wickets and has been played easily .Certainly we have a lot more depth than Aus/SA/NZ but what we need is quality abroad which is missing since Kumble /Harbhajan .We need to develop youngsters such as Akshar patel and some others .Hope guys like Akshar do not turn out limited overs specialists .

  • JustIPL on August 14, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    Mo negotiated bouncers in the last test quiet well but then was surprised by varun's paced with fuller delivery. Looking for a century by Mo in the next test which will be icing on the cake.

  • kumarcoolbuddy on August 14, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    In this whole series India struggled more against spinner one and only Moeen Ali. Whole words knows that India is best against spinners like Shane Warne, Muralitharan etc but this Indian batting line-up was over-confident after Lords victory. Just because of this Indian batting line-up Moeen Ali is mounted with high expectations now. Cook has to really thank this Indian batsmen because they really helped him when he was under tremendous captaincy pressure.

  • on August 14, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    Moeen Ali is a real breath of fresh air in this age when we are saturated with over-rated, IPL stars. This is a man who is a keen learner - soaking it up from everywhere. Good to know that he had Sakib and then Ajmal and Bell and even Dharmasena dispensing useful advice. However, its not just advice that makes the star. It takes an open mind and a eager learner to absorb it all and Moeen has that in abundance. Good luck Moeen. With that kind of an attitude, you should soon be firmly implanted among the genuine stars.

  • Yuosufahmed on August 14, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    India should retire from test cricket and just continue with hit and miss ODI or T20 that their players are fond of at least for some time or just limit playing in home flat tracks. The other option available is to start playing with a lower division level teams like Ban, Zim, Ire and Afg. Otherwise, it is unfair for the good test playing countries as they help out of form players like Cook to get in to the form and part time spinners like Moeen to see like world beaters. When Cook averages 19.5 against SL, it is 44.5 against Ind with 2 fifties. When Moeen averages 60 against SL, it is 23 against Ind in bowling.There seem to be no future for test cricket in India with the like of Kohli and Dhoni who struggle in fast bouncy pitches. Pathetic display...Sigh..

  • CaseyWilliamOZ on August 14, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    really enjoyed reading the interview. lovely person with a positive attitude despite some nasty stuff targeted at him from the right wing press. good to england doing well. 3-1 series win for us :D

  • Kirk_Levin on August 14, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    Kio Ora from New Zealand bro. I love Cricket and support our Kiwi lads. But watching the on-going Eng vs India test series has been awesome. Especially watching you bowl. You are an excellent role model. Kia kaha.

  • JasonGray on August 14, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    re-read the interview once again. mo comes off as a decent guy. really happy for you bud. just keep helping us win more games. don't like it when we lose :)

  • on August 15, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    MA.... He's simply too modest good to see England finally clicking.... Kohli's test and pujara's wicket were classic!.....and your humility gotta appreciate your attitude

  • tjsimonsen on August 15, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    I admit hands down that I was highly critical of MA after the SL series. At that point I saw him as a bits and pieces player. But I have changed my mind. He has bowled very well in this series - especially at Southampton. His line, length and pace were close to perfect, making his drift and natural variation all the more dangerous. Yes, the Indian batsmen weren't playing well, but give some credit to the bowler! He made them look terrible as much (or more) than they made him look great. OK, in the 2nd inning in Manchester, the Indian batsmen looked as incompetent and suicidal as Brazil did against Germany in the WC soccer semi final. I'm still not sure that he is a genuine test no six batsman, but he's proved me wrong before. It remains to be seem how SA and AUS will deal with him (and visa versa). But let's not forget that a few weeks ago, people claimed that he would be eaten alive by the Indian Masters of Spin.

  • on August 14, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    What people dont realise /neglect is that India for all its history of spin bowling have completely failed in the spin department post Kumbke /Harbhajan . Ashwin and Jadeja are not even proper test spinners outside the subcontinent .Pragyan Ojha also struggled in Aus recently but has been given a raw deal to ve honest and in terms of spin bowling is better than Ashwin /Jadeja .Moeen has outbowled Jadeja and though that can be due to incompetence of Indian batsmen Jadeja has not been able to yake even ten wickets and has been played easily .Certainly we have a lot more depth than Aus/SA/NZ but what we need is quality abroad which is missing since Kumble /Harbhajan .We need to develop youngsters such as Akshar patel and some others .Hope guys like Akshar do not turn out limited overs specialists .

  • JustIPL on August 14, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    Mo negotiated bouncers in the last test quiet well but then was surprised by varun's paced with fuller delivery. Looking for a century by Mo in the next test which will be icing on the cake.

  • kumarcoolbuddy on August 14, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    In this whole series India struggled more against spinner one and only Moeen Ali. Whole words knows that India is best against spinners like Shane Warne, Muralitharan etc but this Indian batting line-up was over-confident after Lords victory. Just because of this Indian batting line-up Moeen Ali is mounted with high expectations now. Cook has to really thank this Indian batsmen because they really helped him when he was under tremendous captaincy pressure.

  • on August 14, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    Moeen Ali is a real breath of fresh air in this age when we are saturated with over-rated, IPL stars. This is a man who is a keen learner - soaking it up from everywhere. Good to know that he had Sakib and then Ajmal and Bell and even Dharmasena dispensing useful advice. However, its not just advice that makes the star. It takes an open mind and a eager learner to absorb it all and Moeen has that in abundance. Good luck Moeen. With that kind of an attitude, you should soon be firmly implanted among the genuine stars.

  • Yuosufahmed on August 14, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    India should retire from test cricket and just continue with hit and miss ODI or T20 that their players are fond of at least for some time or just limit playing in home flat tracks. The other option available is to start playing with a lower division level teams like Ban, Zim, Ire and Afg. Otherwise, it is unfair for the good test playing countries as they help out of form players like Cook to get in to the form and part time spinners like Moeen to see like world beaters. When Cook averages 19.5 against SL, it is 44.5 against Ind with 2 fifties. When Moeen averages 60 against SL, it is 23 against Ind in bowling.There seem to be no future for test cricket in India with the like of Kohli and Dhoni who struggle in fast bouncy pitches. Pathetic display...Sigh..

  • CaseyWilliamOZ on August 14, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    really enjoyed reading the interview. lovely person with a positive attitude despite some nasty stuff targeted at him from the right wing press. good to england doing well. 3-1 series win for us :D

  • Kirk_Levin on August 14, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    Kio Ora from New Zealand bro. I love Cricket and support our Kiwi lads. But watching the on-going Eng vs India test series has been awesome. Especially watching you bowl. You are an excellent role model. Kia kaha.

  • JasonGray on August 14, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    re-read the interview once again. mo comes off as a decent guy. really happy for you bud. just keep helping us win more games. don't like it when we lose :)

  • jackiethepen on August 14, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    Typical of jmcilhinney that he has a crack at Bell who has been helping Moeen Ali develop his spin bowling. There are some fans who just want to have a go. Moeen Ali first mentioned Bell's advice when he was interviewed after the Rose Bowl Test. Then Moores came out and said the same thing, that Bell had been working with Ali in the nets. It's sometimes forgotten that Bell was the specialist short leg fielder for England from 2005-2012 (Giles, Panesar, Swann). He learnt to anticipate what ball was likely to threaten the batsman. Bell's also a fine player of spin. I don't have to wonder about what jmcilhinney thinks of it or his undisguised sarcasm about Bell. I can take the opinion of Ganguly instead who thinks Bell is a fine player of spin. Incidentally it was at Old Trafford on a spinning pitch, at times turning square, that Bell got 128 against Shakib al Hasan and won MoTM. Prior was the only other batsman to get runs.

  • Bapi on August 14, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    I really don't understand why all say Indian batsmen play spin very well. I think except Warne all good or bad spinners have got wickets Indian batsmen with average much closer to their career average.

    Actually Moeen trying to suggest is much better than Indian spinners as Indian batsmen play spin well or Indian batsmen can only play in Indian condition that too only in IPL.

    If anybody from BCCI is reading, please arrange 4 IPL each year and go anywhere.

  • DipanjanMitra on August 14, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    India should be rest from international cricket for some time so that they do not produce such dismal and timid performances.

  • saifkhanBD on August 14, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    Great deal of modesty shown here by Ali. Very similar to Amla, who despite significant success, refuses to get carried away. On most occasions, the interviews I have seen of Ali, he seems to be humble fella with not starry attitude, which seems to plague Asian Cricket players, who with some success, quickly forgets who they are. I think, fans from India and Pak will be familiar with such norms. This is the main reason why I love players like Dravid, Amla, Kallis, Younis, Ali etc who play the game in the right way.

  • 512fm on August 14, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    Moeen is definitely one of my favorite cricketers right now, how refreshing is it for a player to just tell it like it is?

  • Rezaul on August 14, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    Moeen bowled in tandem with Shakib at Worcestershire for two seasons and then Ajmal was there as well. Which I guess helped him to improve his game by playing alongside good spinners by bowling in tandem with quality spinner on other side.

  • sundersingh on August 14, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    'Don't know how I'm getting these wickets' - most honest comment i have ever heard in my knowledge of cricketing history... well done ALI!

  • JustIPL on August 14, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Mo should not be surprised as he got Sanga out twice and then he was up against the indian batsmen of post fab4 era who are just overrated bunch of players. Indian war with spin is largely due to Sachin-Warne duels where Sachin was always so brave. On the other hand it is also a fact that leg spinners are expensive but to hit warne was a different ploy altogether. Warne had only 43 wickets in 14 games while Murali had 105 wickets against india alone in only 22 games so they did not play Murali, the off spinner very good either. Also, one thing that indian batsmen look good so far is wider bowling from english seamers which they leave alone and get time to hang on which is not possible while Mo is bowling. Again to remind, Mo and Jo were deemed enough to make partime spinner by english selectors which has succeeded.

  • JasonGray on August 14, 2014, 13:15 GMT

    hmm, really impressed how quickly moeen has caught on eh. but i reckon england still needs a proper spin bowling coach. don't think peter is gonna do much.

  • ReeceLeban on August 14, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    kick smash the crap outta Moeens bowling. Viriat and Dhoni? haha, only on flat n placid pitches in India mate. u think Poms were tough ay, wait for the Aussie series. India barely above average ay. later kuzzy

  • cricketsubh on August 14, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    ali is a gud bowler he beat the indian batsmen with his spin and pace .indian batter not picking well ali.

  • on August 14, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    All credit to Moeen Ali for keeping a cool head in the Tests against India. Looks like he has taken Indian batsmen by total surprise - they were mentally geaered up for Pace attack & never imagined facing a quality spinner on a "green top". I was really amused to read that all the Indian batsmen were deligently polishing their "sweep shots" in their practice sessions, to counter Moeen's bowling. "Sweep Shot" can be productive at times but it is fraught with high risk against a consistent & intelligent bowler. Moeen should take feed back from his wicket keeper & the slip fielders, as they are in a better position to see a batsman's strong & weak points, for Moeen to explore. It is assuring to note that Moeen is keeping his balance in the midst of all these adulations & showing humility for his success. I sincerely hope that the England team Captain & Management will give all support & encouragement to Moeen to develop into a world class bowler/alrounder.

  • saifkhanBD on August 14, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    Even on the social media, many Sri-Lankan fans posted supportive messages towards Moeen. Just shows, they support good/positive Cricket, no matter what. Anyway, all the best to Moeen. He has already proven lot of his critics wrong and if he continues to work hard, he will go far. Cheers.

  • Angry_Bowler on August 14, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    It works against flat track bullys not with any other team. Aussies will teach him a lession.

  • on August 14, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    Really impressed with Moeen. Attitude on and off the field is spot on.

  • DaisonGarvasis on August 14, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    Exactly, the best players of Spin lost out against English spin bowling two series in a row. And even the bowler is surprised!!!

  • landl47 on August 14, 2014, 12:03 GMT

    He's made amazing progress since his first test only a few weeks ago. He'll have challenges ahead, but it seems he knows that and will adjust.

    His immediate challenge is to work out how he wants to deal with short-pitched bowling. He appears to have no real plan at the moment and is being caught in two or even three minds- attack, defend or avoid. I hope he and Joe Root, another player who is improving rapidly, get together, because Root went through the same thing and now appears to be on the right road.

    If Moeen could become a steady #6 with a test batting average of 40 and a bowler who takes 3 wickets per game at 30-35 (with occasional match-winning spells on helpful wickets) he'll be sure of a place in the side for many years.

  • TAHA13 on August 14, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Unfortunately, no credit has been given to Saeed Ajmal, who has been teaching this young lad when they were together in Worcestershire.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 14, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    @Siddhant Kharel,I'm sorry but that is impossible to know, many bowlers, especially spinner have been hit for six, and a lot of them bounce back, and from the way Moeen has played I expect hes one of those that would do that.

  • on August 14, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    people criticized rohit sharma for playing false shot and getting out but i don't think so. in that match Rohit sharma stepping out and trying to hit moen ali was very critical shot because at that moment if rohit had been successful in hitting moen ali for six than moen ali would not have become dangerous bowler. Actually that shot from rohit sharma was series decider shot. if rohit had middle that shot india would have been in better position but but rohit failed and so is india. So rohit is very valuable player in indian team. Against west indies also when india were 85/5 it was rohit who played a valuable innings and won both test matches against west indies

  • on August 14, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    Well.. Heres hoping India Crash and burn in the next test :D... no seriously!.. Comon!. Virat and Dhoni.. kick smash the crap outta Moeens bowling!

  • on August 14, 2014, 10:22 GMT

    Somebody please advise Ashwin and Harbhajan. These people think they're the perfect bowlers who don't need any advise or coaching.

  • on August 14, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    to take 19 wickets against India in English conditions shows it self how good he performed, also the innings he played against SL at Leeds, was awesome, on more Turing conditions England can still play another spiner and also 3 quicks beauty of having an all rounder in your team.

  • cloudmess on August 14, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    India have become a side with a reputation for being flummoxed by anything slightly unexpected and it's possible that they simply didn't prepare sufficiently against Moeen. But then Graeme Swann came to the international game in 2008 with very moderate county stats. When he did well for the first year, many of us thought it couldn't last. What all of this does suggest is that the English county game is not a good breeding ground for spinners. Too many of the pitches are not dry enough to turn, and there are also the short boundaries. The spinners themselves don't get enough good advice at this level and are encouraged to think defensively. Swann certainly improved when he became an international player because he was better placed to interact with current and former players with more attacking and less orthodox approaches - as well as pick up useful technical advice. The same has evidently been true with Moeen and Dharmesena. It certainly isn't down to Peter Moores.

  • Mutukisna on August 14, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    Good and useful advice from Umpire Dharmasena, a former Sri Lankan Test Off Spinner. I am sure Moeen Ali will overcome this perceived deficiency of playing the short ball by watching its path all the way through, and then ducking or taking evasive action or playing it down safely or even hooking as appropriate. Good Luck Moeen. We all wish you all the best in what hopefully will be a long career in the England Test team.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 14, 2014, 8:34 GMT

    He comes across as a very humble person, and I doubt he will change as his career develops. What will be interesting is to watch him as he plays in a variety of conditions and against different opponents, especially the likes of Clarke and Amla both who are excellent players of spin, and that is where his test of character on the field will be tested.

    I do feel that India have underestimated him and at times tried to take him on to get him out of the attack, which is always a good thing for a spinner to see.

    I still only rate him as a part-time spinner, because he was picked for his batting first and spin bowling second, though I expect that he would walk into a number the lower teams as a full time spinner based on his last couple of games.

  • on August 14, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Hashim Amla, Moeen Ali and Muhammed Yusuf all have beards and all are /were fantastic cricketers with one quality that has seen them admired by, not only their countries but the cricketing world over. That quality is humility!

  • Flash_hard27 on August 14, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Mo continues to come across as balanced, sensible and charming bloke. A welcome addition to the England team, his bowling has been a revelation but we really need to see how he handles the Australians next summer. In addition another score with the bat is required in the final test

  • SamRoy on August 14, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    I think more than Moeen being very good it is a case of him being good and Indians being extremely incompetent. If he was bowling to Sidhu, Azhar, Tendulkar, Kambli and Ganguly we would be talking what a part-time spinner he is. Rahane and Kohli are world class batsman but they seriously are pretty bad against spin; they go at the ball with hard hands without being properly forward or properly back. They should not play for India if India prepare a spinning top. I would rather prefer a Manprit Juneja in place of Ajinkya Rahane when India plays on a rank turner (I know Kohli is untouchable because Indian Team views him as a superstar views which I don't share.)

  • RajSma on August 14, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    If He bowls as good as he had bowled against Indians versus Aussies and came though good then I'll accept that he is not a Part timer.Him being a Part time offie with no Doosra against the likes of Watson, Warner and clarke I think he is going to struggle.Dont praise a Bowler too much until he gets enough International exposure.

  • Harlequin. on August 14, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    @simon_w - I'm with you there! As well as being one of my favourites, he also has potential to become one of the most valuable test cricketers. Despite being a huge supporter of his from the minute he stepped into the England team (I also follow Worcs), even I am surprised how successful he has been with the ball. He is still more of a batsman, this short-ball weakness has been blown out of proportion, and if he can make hundreds in the 1st innings and take 5-fers in the 4th innings then we have a winner. All this with a magnificent beard.

  • jmcilhinney on August 14, 2014, 0:19 GMT

    Bell is someone who looks a good player of spin in certain conditions but has had trouble on pitches that offer more turn. He seems well placed to advise Moeen on what batsmen find difficult to play as far as spin bowling is concerned.

    I do hope that he continues to develop his doosra. There's no point overcomplicating things now, while he's doing well without it, but that will not always be the case. It would be a handy weapon to have in the future, no doubt. Particularly on less helpful tracks, even having the threat of one that can reliably go the other way is a good way to keep batsmen honest. If he's successful with it, it may help to make unconventional spin more mainstream in England too, which should help England in future.

  • on August 13, 2014, 21:07 GMT

    I am sure he will do good in cricket and life. I wish him success. He has a lot oif inner strength. I hope he scores a century in the next Test Match.

  • simon_w on August 13, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Moeen has rapidly become one of my favourite cricketers (I expect I'm not alone). He is following well in the footsteps of Swanny -- another finger spinner who was heralded as innocuous at the beginning of his career but was quickly recognized as anything but. Moeen will develop and improve as he gets more experience, just as Swanny did (he looks to be learning more guile and craft with every game), and I hope to be watching him take wickets for England for many years to come. He seems to be a totally stand-up guy, too -- I've been impressed with everything I've heard him say so far, and his attitude seems spot on. Top beard, top guy.

  • khanofcricket on August 13, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    For now, Moeen is knocking the Indians out of the cricket map, and that too on a surface that is not to helpful for the spinners.

  • jpotter321 on August 13, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    For heaven's sake. The only thing more embarrassing than Moeen analyze his bowling so seriously is watching how the Indians play him.

    Where are the Gangulys, Sidhus and Sehwags to knock this harmless off spinner out of the cricket map.

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  • jpotter321 on August 13, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    For heaven's sake. The only thing more embarrassing than Moeen analyze his bowling so seriously is watching how the Indians play him.

    Where are the Gangulys, Sidhus and Sehwags to knock this harmless off spinner out of the cricket map.

  • khanofcricket on August 13, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    For now, Moeen is knocking the Indians out of the cricket map, and that too on a surface that is not to helpful for the spinners.

  • simon_w on August 13, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Moeen has rapidly become one of my favourite cricketers (I expect I'm not alone). He is following well in the footsteps of Swanny -- another finger spinner who was heralded as innocuous at the beginning of his career but was quickly recognized as anything but. Moeen will develop and improve as he gets more experience, just as Swanny did (he looks to be learning more guile and craft with every game), and I hope to be watching him take wickets for England for many years to come. He seems to be a totally stand-up guy, too -- I've been impressed with everything I've heard him say so far, and his attitude seems spot on. Top beard, top guy.

  • on August 13, 2014, 21:07 GMT

    I am sure he will do good in cricket and life. I wish him success. He has a lot oif inner strength. I hope he scores a century in the next Test Match.

  • jmcilhinney on August 14, 2014, 0:19 GMT

    Bell is someone who looks a good player of spin in certain conditions but has had trouble on pitches that offer more turn. He seems well placed to advise Moeen on what batsmen find difficult to play as far as spin bowling is concerned.

    I do hope that he continues to develop his doosra. There's no point overcomplicating things now, while he's doing well without it, but that will not always be the case. It would be a handy weapon to have in the future, no doubt. Particularly on less helpful tracks, even having the threat of one that can reliably go the other way is a good way to keep batsmen honest. If he's successful with it, it may help to make unconventional spin more mainstream in England too, which should help England in future.

  • Harlequin. on August 14, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    @simon_w - I'm with you there! As well as being one of my favourites, he also has potential to become one of the most valuable test cricketers. Despite being a huge supporter of his from the minute he stepped into the England team (I also follow Worcs), even I am surprised how successful he has been with the ball. He is still more of a batsman, this short-ball weakness has been blown out of proportion, and if he can make hundreds in the 1st innings and take 5-fers in the 4th innings then we have a winner. All this with a magnificent beard.

  • RajSma on August 14, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    If He bowls as good as he had bowled against Indians versus Aussies and came though good then I'll accept that he is not a Part timer.Him being a Part time offie with no Doosra against the likes of Watson, Warner and clarke I think he is going to struggle.Dont praise a Bowler too much until he gets enough International exposure.

  • SamRoy on August 14, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    I think more than Moeen being very good it is a case of him being good and Indians being extremely incompetent. If he was bowling to Sidhu, Azhar, Tendulkar, Kambli and Ganguly we would be talking what a part-time spinner he is. Rahane and Kohli are world class batsman but they seriously are pretty bad against spin; they go at the ball with hard hands without being properly forward or properly back. They should not play for India if India prepare a spinning top. I would rather prefer a Manprit Juneja in place of Ajinkya Rahane when India plays on a rank turner (I know Kohli is untouchable because Indian Team views him as a superstar views which I don't share.)

  • Flash_hard27 on August 14, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Mo continues to come across as balanced, sensible and charming bloke. A welcome addition to the England team, his bowling has been a revelation but we really need to see how he handles the Australians next summer. In addition another score with the bat is required in the final test

  • on August 14, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Hashim Amla, Moeen Ali and Muhammed Yusuf all have beards and all are /were fantastic cricketers with one quality that has seen them admired by, not only their countries but the cricketing world over. That quality is humility!