India vs England: They just kept coming, Moeen Ali hails India bowling trio
Cook fell to Bumrah for 71 and Ishant dismissed Moeen for 50 after their 73-run second wicket partnership had looked like lifting England to a solid total. The pitch played slow, but India’s pacers were relentless with the old ball.cricket Updated: Sep 08, 2018 12:30 IST
England were confident Alastair Cook would get to a century in his farewell Test after he was dropped on 37 by Virat Kohli off Jasprit Bumrah, Moeen Ali said after the first day of the final Test at the Oval on Friday.
“You’re always hoping to let them bowl and bowl. But they just kept coming, bowling same pace, same areas. It was one of the best bowling attacks I’ve faced. They were just always, consistently there,” he said in praise of India’s attack after England went from 133/1 to 198/7 in the evening session.
Cook fell to Bumrah for 71 and Ishant dismissed Moeen for 50 after their 73-run second wicket partnership had looked like lifting England to a solid total. The pitch played slow, but India’s pacers were relentless with the old ball.
“When he got dropped I just said ‘it was meant to be for you’” he said, pointing to the Indian bowlers making scoring difficult. Moeen was dropped on two off Ishant, but hung in there with Cook.
“I just tried to take it a ball at a time. They bowled really well. The wicket was quite slow, but the ball was always doing something, so I just tried to stay as patient as I could. The Indian bowlers didn’t give me a lot to hit. So I just tried to bat. I don’t always play like that, but we were in a decent position.”
Moeen was promoted to No 3, and faced 170 balls for his 50. When he got to the dressing room at tea, his teammates pulled his leg.
Mohammed Shami repeatedly beat his bat in a great spell after lunch. “I probably wasn’t good enough to nick them,” he said. “When I went into tea, the guys were calling me Geoffrey Boycott. Then they came in, played and missed their first ball, and I was pretty happy with that.”
Moeen’s nine-wicket haul in the fourth Test at Southampton bowled England to a 60-run win to seal the series 3-1 coming into this game. But he saw himself as a regular No 3 batsman too.
“I’ve not done it much for England, but I don’t see why I can’t bat there. I just go out and try to play according to the situation. I bat No 3 for Worcester, managed to score some runs there earlier this year. Why not?”
Moeen had lost his spot in the team at the start of the year, after the tour of Australia and New Zealand, but made a great comeback at Southampton. He now keeps of the social media to focus more on his young family.
“I just feel like you spend so much time on there. You’ve got family and kids, and you just end up on your phone. I caught myself doing that when my little one wanted a kick around, and that’s when I decided. It’s good, because I’m hardly on my phone now.
“I can live without it. A lot of people out there are on social media and that’s fine, but I just spent so much time on my phone I just had enough.”
England’s batting collapse again raised concerns about the vacuum Cook’s retirement will leave. Moeen was upbeat.
“A player will come in and try and replace Cookie, which will be very difficult. It is difficult (but) these things happen. It happens around the world. Sometimes it’s more of a mental thing.
“I know I was dropped, I know I played and missed, but I just tried to bat. I’m always confident. There’s always good players, maybe some you don’t know about at the moment. Obviously we don’t want these collapses at the time.”
First Published: Sep 08, 2018 08:45 IST