England news June 6, 2014

Moeen feared Test chance had gone

ESPNcricinfo staff
24

A little over a year ago Moeen Ali feared his chance for an international career was slipping away, but now he can look forward to a Test debut at Lord's next week to add to the ODI and T20 caps he has already earned.

Moeen has been included in England's 12-man squad, one of three uncapped players, for his all-around skills and is likely to be slotted in to bat at No. 6 and be the main spin option in a pace-heavy England side following the retirement of Graeme Swann.

He has a doosra among his armoury - developed under the guidance of Saeed Ajmal - but has yet to unveil it at international level. Although his career bowling average is 40.43, over the last two seasons he has taken his wickets at 32.56.

His first taste of international cricket came in West Indies during March when he made his ODI and T20 debuts then he was part of the World T20. He will enter the Test arena in good batting form having hit 162 against Surrey in the last round of Championship matches.

"I thought the previous winter that the chance might have passed me by to play for England but I put my foot down and really worked hard on my game and to score mountains of runs," he said. "This winter's experience has given me the hunger to want to play more international cricket and obviously the next step is Test cricket.

"I loved my time for England during the winter and everyone made me feel so welcome and part of the squad and, apart from the last couple of T20s when I didn't get many runs, overall I was quite pleased.

Worcestershire's director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, highlighted Moeen's work ethic as one of his qualities which stood out.

"No-one hits more balls in practice than Moeen and he thoroughly deserved his call-up during the winter with Lions and then for the full tours including the World Cup," he said. "But what a fantastic thing that is for this club, that we've now got a player in the England Test squad who loves playing at this club."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 8, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    @CodandChips: Thanks - that makes sense re. Onions; should have checked his profile page before ranting.

  • CodandChips on June 8, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK I like Borthwick as a batting allrounder. Though his bowling lacks control he takes wickets. Kerrigan would have been my choice of front-line spinner. Onions is injured unfortunately but I like Roland-Jones myself.

  • sussexsunrisers on June 7, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    Might be worth batting him at three. Despite all the hype about him being able to bowl a doosra, he would be a better bet at three than balance even if he has to bowl 15 overs in a day. I think England have decided with the four pacers not because they believe that Kerrigan or another county spinner would not be good enough or that Ali is truly a test bowler, but simply this summers opposition. Sri Lanka have never been comfortable with quick seaming and swinging bowling compared to the tame spin that most English pitches provide. So will india. If South Africa were coming to England for a test series, I definitely think England would use a front line spinner. It's a lot about playing to your opposition.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 7, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    It's too late now as the squad's already been announced, and reading between the lines I get the impression that this is now finalised exclusively for the home series against Sri Lanka? But thinking further ahead, especially when it comes to away series in places like the subcontinent, I sincerely hope that England will not keep all their spin hopes on part-timers like Ali and Root. If patience/time has run out for the likes of Magic Monty, then so be it, but I'd still like to see young guys like Bothwick and maybe Kerrigan get more chances. I think (am glad actually) that Ali would make the test side for his batting alone anyway; but what I don't understand is the inclusion of the likes of Plunkett... If it's seamers England are after, then Onions should be one of the first names down! If it's 'denting the batting' that England are afraid of, then why not go for Borthwick who is not only a legspinner, but a better bat than the likes Woakes, Plunkett, Broad, Jordan... Time will tell.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 7, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    @eng_mdkhan (post on June 7, 2014, 10:35 GMT): I seem to recall the great Aussie side of the 90's didn't fare too well once a few big names suddenly decided to call time at around the same time. Now I'm not for one minute trying to say that England of late ever managed to achieve the same degree of dominance as e.g. that Aussie squad, but the sudden loss of several key players like Trott and Swann, coupled with abysmal form from others like Prior and KP, is not a good recipe for consistent world-beating in cricket. You could of course argue that England's retirements came after/during the slide, but on the contrary, Swann's elbow trouble was not new and Trott's troubles may have been underlying and simply manifested themselves unbearably during the Ashes. I guess my point is a machine tends to be made up of many parts, and it's only ever going to work as well and efficiently as the sum of those parts and provided all those parts work together in harmony. A machine can also be rebuilt.

  • Sir_Francis on June 7, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    How many wickets at 32.56?

    10? or 100?

  • eng_mdkhan on June 7, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    I do not know if it is only me but I feel that England slumped pretty quickly from being world beaters to becoming a potentially challenging team. The players seem to have lost the steam somewhere. It is indeed easy to reach the top than staying at the top something the erstwhile Windies and Australian teams did over a long period of time. Not only did these teams reach the top but they continued to dominate the oppositions over a greater period of time. These teams had such an aura that whoever played for them regardless of debuting or coming back in to the team did so successfully and I guess it was the overall contagious must win attitude that maintained the winning streaks for these teams which I felt England lost as soon as they reached the top. A lot of players left as well which perhaps might have precipitated this dramatic slump. The same is the case with Indian test team they do not have this go getter attitude in Tests without which test glory will always be elusive.

  • eng_mdkhan on June 7, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    ODIs and T20s are reactive games unlike Tests. Tests truly are the 'test' of a player's ability. It is a test of the player's resolve, persistence and penchant to impact the game. Unlike the limited overs format in Tests the players have to be proactive and take the initiative to produce results. This is where the players with utmost resolve and hunger for success thrive and it is these players who make the test matches worth watching without letting it meander to a lame draw. I think Moeen has it all to excel at the highest level but he will have to justify his selection by way of consistent performances all the best to him and his team.

  • on June 7, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    why dont england play with yardy as one of their spinners. at lords on 4th or 5th the wicket nowadays behaves like subcontinent wicket with many tears and wears on it. yardy can be a good option

  • priceless1 on June 7, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    if he get a chance to play at Loads , im sure he will pick up Sanga's or Mahela's wicket (or may be even both , like most bowlers who has debuted against SL has done so so far )

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 8, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    @CodandChips: Thanks - that makes sense re. Onions; should have checked his profile page before ranting.

  • CodandChips on June 8, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK I like Borthwick as a batting allrounder. Though his bowling lacks control he takes wickets. Kerrigan would have been my choice of front-line spinner. Onions is injured unfortunately but I like Roland-Jones myself.

  • sussexsunrisers on June 7, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    Might be worth batting him at three. Despite all the hype about him being able to bowl a doosra, he would be a better bet at three than balance even if he has to bowl 15 overs in a day. I think England have decided with the four pacers not because they believe that Kerrigan or another county spinner would not be good enough or that Ali is truly a test bowler, but simply this summers opposition. Sri Lanka have never been comfortable with quick seaming and swinging bowling compared to the tame spin that most English pitches provide. So will india. If South Africa were coming to England for a test series, I definitely think England would use a front line spinner. It's a lot about playing to your opposition.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 7, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    It's too late now as the squad's already been announced, and reading between the lines I get the impression that this is now finalised exclusively for the home series against Sri Lanka? But thinking further ahead, especially when it comes to away series in places like the subcontinent, I sincerely hope that England will not keep all their spin hopes on part-timers like Ali and Root. If patience/time has run out for the likes of Magic Monty, then so be it, but I'd still like to see young guys like Bothwick and maybe Kerrigan get more chances. I think (am glad actually) that Ali would make the test side for his batting alone anyway; but what I don't understand is the inclusion of the likes of Plunkett... If it's seamers England are after, then Onions should be one of the first names down! If it's 'denting the batting' that England are afraid of, then why not go for Borthwick who is not only a legspinner, but a better bat than the likes Woakes, Plunkett, Broad, Jordan... Time will tell.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 7, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    @eng_mdkhan (post on June 7, 2014, 10:35 GMT): I seem to recall the great Aussie side of the 90's didn't fare too well once a few big names suddenly decided to call time at around the same time. Now I'm not for one minute trying to say that England of late ever managed to achieve the same degree of dominance as e.g. that Aussie squad, but the sudden loss of several key players like Trott and Swann, coupled with abysmal form from others like Prior and KP, is not a good recipe for consistent world-beating in cricket. You could of course argue that England's retirements came after/during the slide, but on the contrary, Swann's elbow trouble was not new and Trott's troubles may have been underlying and simply manifested themselves unbearably during the Ashes. I guess my point is a machine tends to be made up of many parts, and it's only ever going to work as well and efficiently as the sum of those parts and provided all those parts work together in harmony. A machine can also be rebuilt.

  • Sir_Francis on June 7, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    How many wickets at 32.56?

    10? or 100?

  • eng_mdkhan on June 7, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    I do not know if it is only me but I feel that England slumped pretty quickly from being world beaters to becoming a potentially challenging team. The players seem to have lost the steam somewhere. It is indeed easy to reach the top than staying at the top something the erstwhile Windies and Australian teams did over a long period of time. Not only did these teams reach the top but they continued to dominate the oppositions over a greater period of time. These teams had such an aura that whoever played for them regardless of debuting or coming back in to the team did so successfully and I guess it was the overall contagious must win attitude that maintained the winning streaks for these teams which I felt England lost as soon as they reached the top. A lot of players left as well which perhaps might have precipitated this dramatic slump. The same is the case with Indian test team they do not have this go getter attitude in Tests without which test glory will always be elusive.

  • eng_mdkhan on June 7, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    ODIs and T20s are reactive games unlike Tests. Tests truly are the 'test' of a player's ability. It is a test of the player's resolve, persistence and penchant to impact the game. Unlike the limited overs format in Tests the players have to be proactive and take the initiative to produce results. This is where the players with utmost resolve and hunger for success thrive and it is these players who make the test matches worth watching without letting it meander to a lame draw. I think Moeen has it all to excel at the highest level but he will have to justify his selection by way of consistent performances all the best to him and his team.

  • on June 7, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    why dont england play with yardy as one of their spinners. at lords on 4th or 5th the wicket nowadays behaves like subcontinent wicket with many tears and wears on it. yardy can be a good option

  • priceless1 on June 7, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    if he get a chance to play at Loads , im sure he will pick up Sanga's or Mahela's wicket (or may be even both , like most bowlers who has debuted against SL has done so so far )

  • CodandChips on June 7, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    @Balladeer @Philber Yes I truly believe that the best spinner in county cricket is Kerrigan. He's been consistent over the last couple of years and this year is the leading English spinner in division 1 in terms of wickets. And his economy in many games has been excellent, implying great control. He may have had a disastrous debut but deserves another go. You wouldn't drop a batsman if say they scored a scratchy 10 ball duck on debut, they'd be given another chance. Why can't Kerrigan get another chance, especially in a new set up and with his former county coach?

  • Happy_hamster on June 7, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    What I have seen of Moeen (and admittedly it is not that much in the longer form) he looks a quality act, good players rise to the challenge the higher the standard gets. It is a shame Taylor never gets a look in but maybe in time, I think Woakes, Stokes, Balance, Jordan along with Moeen have great potential but only time will tell and hopefully new players will get a run and not be jettisoned remember IR Bell in his early days.

  • landl47 on June 6, 2014, 23:02 GMT

    Moeen's role in this England side is economy, with hopefully a wicket or two. He won't be expected to bowl a side out as Swann could in the right conditions. There are going to be 4 seamers in the side (there are 5 seamers in the 12, so one is going to miss out) and with Joe Root also a batsman who bowls, England thinks, probably rightly, that in early Summer English conditions that's a good balance. If there was a spinner who looks ready to play for England it would be a different matter, but there isn't.

    My own hopes are that Ravi Patel, a young left-armer for Middlesex, will turn out to be the real deal. He has a quick arm and just looks like an international-type bowler to me. He's very young and has only played a handful of matches, so it won't be for a while yet. If Moeen can do the job, he likely has it for a couple of years.

    @SavantanB: Tredwell's FC form has been declining as his short-format game has taken more of his time. He can't even get in the Kent FC side all the timv

  • Cricket24 on June 6, 2014, 20:46 GMT

    Although limited, I liked what I saw of him in the West Indies. He has a calm, cool head and seems like he can wether an attack down. His bowling figures aren't great, but he and root can combine to get the spinners role done.

  • Test_fan_7831 on June 6, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    Vaughan and Tresco did not avg less than 30, was more like mid/high 30's especially so for Vaughan. Still I get your point, sometimes it is not all about numbers but mindset of players and recent form as opposed to overall form.

    I hope Moeen does well and has developed his Doosra enough to use it to get batters out.

  • SayantanB on June 6, 2014, 16:18 GMT

    Whether Moeen Ali succeeds or not,only time can tell.He must be having some good qualities about his bowling to have caught the eye of the selectors.One only hopes that he is not picked to play the kind of role performed by Cameron White when Australia toured India in 2008,which obviously backfired.But one thing which intrigues me is that why is James Tredwell never considered for Test selections?I think it's well worth a try. I've always felt he can be a handful in Tests as well!

  • on June 6, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    He wouldn't have been my first choice but good luck to him I wish him well, he seems he a very level headed guy and is a good role model to younger players. I agree with people saying he is a much improved player and people peak at different ages.

    I think England know they won't need much of a spinner in these early games and it is a chance to have a look at another batsmen. He has bowled more deliveries this season than Borthwick so I would ask who is the part time bowler?

  • WhoCaresAboutIPL on June 6, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    Does anyone have an idea of Swanny's first class record just before being picked for the India tour that led to his Test debut? He became recognised as a world class bowler, but I am not so sure that this was written in the stars beforehand...

  • on June 6, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Temperament, form, work ethic. His career stats do not do justice to what he has achieved in the past two seasons, which is why he has been picked. Remember both Vaughan and Trescothick averaged less than 30 first class when they were picked. So give the guy his opportunity. Future England Captain I reckon.

  • Balladeer on June 6, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    Philbers, if you're going for the best spinner on the county circuit, surely that's Kerrigan? As CodandChips will tell you when you he gets here. Apparently England have been put off by one poor showing when Watson was "seeing the ball like a football", as they say, and that's a shame.

  • Philbers on June 6, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    SlingshotPace, you're right, his career stats aren't anything to get too excited about. But he's been selected on his ability as a player now, not what he was like at the start of his career. This season and last he's averaged in the low 60s with the bat and the low 30s with the ball - for an all-rounder this is a great deal more than average. Are you not swayed at all by the fact that pretty much every pundit would have him in their team? I agree that in an ideal world England would replace Swann with another world-class spinner, but there isn't one. So it seems pretty reasonable to pick one of the best on the county circuit who happens to be pushing for selection as a specialist batsman anyway.

  • on June 6, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    Maybe they will let him bowl the doosra. English spinners have always been discouraged about bowling the doosra. But this is what gets wickets and he learned it from the master himself.His club team already has 2 of the world's best spinners - Ajmal and Sakib. What better mentors can one hope for.

  • SlingshotPace on June 6, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    This guy averages 40 with the ball in First Class cricket, which is objectively worse than average...England needs a specialist spinner. His batting average isn't too hot either. Guess he has to step up to the plate and bring out his best game at the International level because at First Class level, he is nothing more than average.

  • Balladeer on June 6, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    Mountains of runs are great, but the sad fact is that Moeen is in the squad as the main spinner. It's mountains of wickets, or at the very least economy, that England most need to see from him.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Balladeer on June 6, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    Mountains of runs are great, but the sad fact is that Moeen is in the squad as the main spinner. It's mountains of wickets, or at the very least economy, that England most need to see from him.

  • SlingshotPace on June 6, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    This guy averages 40 with the ball in First Class cricket, which is objectively worse than average...England needs a specialist spinner. His batting average isn't too hot either. Guess he has to step up to the plate and bring out his best game at the International level because at First Class level, he is nothing more than average.

  • on June 6, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    Maybe they will let him bowl the doosra. English spinners have always been discouraged about bowling the doosra. But this is what gets wickets and he learned it from the master himself.His club team already has 2 of the world's best spinners - Ajmal and Sakib. What better mentors can one hope for.

  • Philbers on June 6, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    SlingshotPace, you're right, his career stats aren't anything to get too excited about. But he's been selected on his ability as a player now, not what he was like at the start of his career. This season and last he's averaged in the low 60s with the bat and the low 30s with the ball - for an all-rounder this is a great deal more than average. Are you not swayed at all by the fact that pretty much every pundit would have him in their team? I agree that in an ideal world England would replace Swann with another world-class spinner, but there isn't one. So it seems pretty reasonable to pick one of the best on the county circuit who happens to be pushing for selection as a specialist batsman anyway.

  • Balladeer on June 6, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    Philbers, if you're going for the best spinner on the county circuit, surely that's Kerrigan? As CodandChips will tell you when you he gets here. Apparently England have been put off by one poor showing when Watson was "seeing the ball like a football", as they say, and that's a shame.

  • on June 6, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Temperament, form, work ethic. His career stats do not do justice to what he has achieved in the past two seasons, which is why he has been picked. Remember both Vaughan and Trescothick averaged less than 30 first class when they were picked. So give the guy his opportunity. Future England Captain I reckon.

  • WhoCaresAboutIPL on June 6, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    Does anyone have an idea of Swanny's first class record just before being picked for the India tour that led to his Test debut? He became recognised as a world class bowler, but I am not so sure that this was written in the stars beforehand...

  • on June 6, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    He wouldn't have been my first choice but good luck to him I wish him well, he seems he a very level headed guy and is a good role model to younger players. I agree with people saying he is a much improved player and people peak at different ages.

    I think England know they won't need much of a spinner in these early games and it is a chance to have a look at another batsmen. He has bowled more deliveries this season than Borthwick so I would ask who is the part time bowler?

  • SayantanB on June 6, 2014, 16:18 GMT

    Whether Moeen Ali succeeds or not,only time can tell.He must be having some good qualities about his bowling to have caught the eye of the selectors.One only hopes that he is not picked to play the kind of role performed by Cameron White when Australia toured India in 2008,which obviously backfired.But one thing which intrigues me is that why is James Tredwell never considered for Test selections?I think it's well worth a try. I've always felt he can be a handful in Tests as well!

  • Test_fan_7831 on June 6, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    Vaughan and Tresco did not avg less than 30, was more like mid/high 30's especially so for Vaughan. Still I get your point, sometimes it is not all about numbers but mindset of players and recent form as opposed to overall form.

    I hope Moeen does well and has developed his Doosra enough to use it to get batters out.