England news June 6, 2014

Moeen feared Test chance had gone

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

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

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

  • Paulo 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.

  • Oliver 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.

  • Nicholas 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.

  • Nicholas 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.

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

    How many wickets at 32.56?

    10? or 100?

  • Mohammed 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.

  • Mohammed 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.

  • Dummy4 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

  • Amila 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 )

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