Home > Features >

What did Moeen Ali’s innings in 4th ODI teach England?

Moeen Ali © Getty Images
Moeen Ali smashed three sixes in his brisk innings of 67 runs © Getty Images

It was a gem of an innings from Moeen Ali considering how his fellow teammates batted for most part of the innings at Edgbaston. Moeen has not just cemented his place but also taught a lesson or two ahead of the ICC World Cup 2015. Abhijit Banare highlights them.

With all the debate over England’s approach facing spin, it finally forced them to include a certain Moeen Ali. Though it shouldn’t be a surprise but Moeen’s inclusion was more about adding spin to England’s bowling attack and perhaps add some solidity to the batting. What really was baffling in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) was the exclusion of James Tredwell after all the talk of even Edgbaston offering turn. Well, in the end result Tredwell’s presence wouldn’t have mattered considering the shoddy performance of their batsmen. Meanwhile, Moeen did teach a lesson or two to the selectors and his team.

The obsession with pace all-rounders: Moeen’s absence from the second and third ODI was largely due to England’s preference to have a medium-pace bowling all-rounder over a part-time spinner spin-bowling all-rounder. Tredwell, their regular spinner in ODIs isn’t a big turner but focuses on accuracy. This has been the shift in the way bowlers approach the limited overs matches. If Moeen has the ability to maintain the tidy line, it’s better to take the risk of using him as all-rounder than go with the medium-pace option who can be carted around.

What was so special about the innings? Moeen made a clear statement on two things. a) Having a good footwork against spinners is essential irrespective of what the pitch is doing. b) England is yet to learn that ODIs are not abridged version of Tests and you need to settle in on the move. Unlike the others who were focusing on sweep and reverse sweep, Moeen played clean strokes in front of the wicket. His uncomplicated style and not over thinking about the situation is something which others failed to do. Eoin Morgan and Joe Root are capable of what the left-hander did at Edgbaston if they play to their strengths than be overcautious. This is the kind of innings which Moeen can pull off on any track.

Finally, is Moeen a serious contender for World Cup? With that innings, England will look to him as a serious contender for the squad. In fact, the uncertainty over the batting set-up could mean that Moeen might even get a promotion to No 4 or 5 to up the ante. It’s good to have free-flowing players in the middle overs (something Eoin Morgan is known to do) like Suresh Raina for India. It’s the Test success which has made Moeen an important spin option. But in the end, he is a quality batsman England need in their set-up.
Contrary to the skepticism of the English media, all is not lost for England. They do have aggressive players like Alex Hales, Jos Buttler with Jason Roy and James Taylor still waiting in the wings. At the end of the day, Moeen’s batting clearly showed what is required for the team. The message is loud and clear. And they do have the talent to work upon the shortcomings with 12 ODIs to come before the marquee tournament begins. All that remains is whether the selectors are optimistic and prefer to make the changes required or let the old guard go through the motions.

Catch all the coverage of India’s tour to England here

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone lead by 81 runs as North Zone bowled out for 457

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal ODI team

David Warner feels lucky to have equalled Don Bradman’s record

Kapil Dev’s Dev Musco Lighting accused of inflated costs by GCA

VVS Laxman advises budding batsmen to score big hundreds

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Student dies in Finland high school stabbing

Google partners Oxford University to teach machines to think

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal ODI team

School girl gang-raped in Bengal

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Pavitra Rishta to air its final episode tomorrow

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

NGOs pursue education for all

Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues, reports $950 million Q3 net profit

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here