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 in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014 (16:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 12, 2014  at Sharjah

New Zealand won by 4 wkts

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: Samuels and Chanderpaul rebuild for West Indies

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India reach 71/1 at stumps

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Anil Kumble Australia India Ishant Sharma Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin Ricky Ponting South Africa

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Shane Bond named among Kiwi reserve players

West Indies slump to 184 for 6 at Tea on Day 3 vs South Africa at Centurion

Kane Williamson completes 13th ODI fifty; New Zealand 100/2 in 22 overs vs Pakistan

South Africa vs West Indies 1st Test at Centurion, Day 3: Samuels and Chanderpaul take West Indies past 150

Saeed Ajmal returns impressive figures on return to competitive cricket

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail ought to take leaf out of Australian tail’s book

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India’s pathetic bowling performance, Mitchell Johnson’s onslaught and other highlights

India’s inability to dismiss Australia’s tail can have huge impact

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: New Zealand likely XI

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Pakistan likely XI

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here