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India vs England: Can’t become bad player after one bad winter - Moeen Ali

Moeen Ali hopes the way he has so far performed with both bat and ball during the fourth Test against India at Southampton will mark a “fresh start” to his England career.

cricket Updated: Sep 01, 2018 09:58 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Southampton
India vs England,Moeen Ali,England cricket team
England's Moeen Ali celebrates taking the wicket of India's Mohammed Shami in Southampton.(REUTERS)

England all-rounder Moeen Ali delivered a veiled criticism of his treatment by national selectors after grabbing five wickets on his comeback in the fourth Test against India at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.

Moeen’s 5/63, including four wickets in 16 deliveries, undermined Indian efforts to bat the hosts out of the match after bowling them out for 246 on Day 1. The visitors were 273 all out, and with the pitch showing signs of wear and tear, India have their task cut out.

“I’m trying to have a fresh start,” Moeen said after the performance. “It’s believing you’re not a bad player after one bad winter - many players have gone through that, and for me it was just moving on, making you a better player, a stronger character.

“These things can happen to anybody. I shrugged it off, cleared my mind to try to get better - and that’s exactly what I feel I have been doing.”

Moeen was dumped from the national squad after a poor Ashes series, where he also struggled with a finger injury. He was ecalled after an all-round show for his County, scoring a double century and taking eight wickets.

“I’ve loved being back at Worcester, having a good stint there, just getting form back with bat and ball. I’ve really enjoyed going back to county cricket and having a bit of a break,” said the 31-year-old.

READ: How Cheteshwar Pujara improved his game ahead of Southampton Test

“It’s always nice to get a call-up when you’re in decent nick with bat and ball - you have that confidence coming into the game, and it’s doing what county cricket should be doing.”

The 31-year-old returned to a venue where he took eight wickets and shone in India’s big defeat.

“I was bowling from the same end; it brings back those memories – it’s always nice to have that in the back of your mind.

“The spin was nice, and it did last time as well. After my first over today, I thought I was going to be in the game throughout this Test.

“The role in the side now is my best – mainly as a batter, then coming on as a second spinner gives me a lot more confidence and freedom, and I actually end up playing better.

“We’re going to have to fight hard to win this series here, but I hope we can do that. I think Ravi (Ashwin) is going to be hard work for us this innings, but I’m sure we’ve got the quality in the side that can deal with it.”

First Published: Sep 01, 2018 08:51 IST