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May 12, 2014
#politeenquiries: The legend of Moeen Ali's beard
Moeen Ali is widely tipped to be England's main spinner in their first post-Ashes Test when they face Sri Lanka next month and having the extra expectation on his bowling is not something that fazes him.
Moeen's overall first-class bowling average is 40.35 but over the last two seasons for Worcestershire he has taken 64 wickets at 32.56 and also claimed seven at 18 on the Lions tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year. His all-round skills have already propelling him into the one-day and Twenty20 set-up and Moeen is now confident enough in his bowling to see it as an equal part of his game.
"I think now I see myself as an allrounder," he told ESPNcricinfo's #politeenquiries show where he answered readers questions. "I got picked by England for my batting but I think got picked over guys who have done more than me in the last couple of years because of my bowling. The more years go on the better I'm getting with my bowling."
He puts his improvement down to the responsibility he has been given at Worcestershire where he is often the frontline spinner - although this season has been able to operate alongside his close friend Saeed Ajmal - which has allowed him to develop his art that includes the doosra even if that delivery has yet to be seen at international level.
"I've probably bowled a lot more than most offspinners in county cricket over the last two or three years. I bowl in all forms which is nice," Moeen said.
He continues to relish is work alongside Ajmal who is happy to pass on his knowledge of the doosra, but Moeen knows that understanding the mechanics behind it is different to making it a success on the pitch.
"That's one of my best moments," he said of his time with Ajmal. "He says he hasn't shown many people [the doorsa], but says it's not the showing that's the hard part but the work you have to do."
And Moeen is not just trying to make a successful career for himself, but also act as inspiration for other Asian cricketers in the UK to reach the professional level. It is a responsibility he is happy to embrace and hopes that more players will come through the system after seeing him wear an England shirt.
"Being an Asian cricketer myself, watching me play for England, I think inspires Asian players to want to play," he said. "I don't see it as a burden, I see it as a positive attitude. I feel it's my duty to do it, to represent Asians."
Despite not playing against Scotland in Aberdeen, Moeen is expected to be named in England's T20 and ODI squads which will be announced on Tuesday morning for the matches against Sri Lanka.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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