Moeen Ali © Getty Images
Moeen Ali © Getty Images

Aug 9, 2014

MS Dhoni was looking good for India and took the attack to the English with some fine shots on the leg side. Scoring at more than run-a-ball, the visitors only had the captain and Ravichandran Ashwin to save them form the blushes. Dhoni chipped the ball and much to the dismay of the batsman, Gary Ballance lept forward to take a smart catch and India’s tail was exposed. Moeen Ali, who has been a thorn in the flesh of India has now taken the second highest wicket tally for an Englishman against India. Currently, Moeen’s wicket tally is on 19 in what has been a astounding series for the Pakistan-origin spinner. Replacing a legend like Graeme Swann was always going to be an uphill task and Moeen has slotted into the role with aplomb and silenced his critics in extraordinary fashion by troubling some of the top Indian batsmen with his off-spin.

Traditionally, Indians are excellent players of spin but have found Moeen’s loop, flight and turn a handful in this series and and have capitulated yet again in the second innings. Moeen made lightweight of India in the third Test at Agaeas Bowl, which England won by a handsome margin to bring up their first Test win in over a year and Moeen finished with figures of six for 63.

Ravindra Jadeja won the exchanges with James Anderson, hammering his nemesis for a boundary and then just when he was looking set, Jadeja played a terrible shot and edged the ball to Chris Jordan at slip. The England pacer used his long hands to full effect as he pounced on the catch to give Moeen Ali his 18th wicket of the series. Ajinkya Rahane, after being heckled by Moeen Ali earlier on departed in a tame fashion. India’s batting lynchpin in this series so far was under considerable pressure and chipped the ball straight to the bowler and Moeen Ali had taken two wickets in two overs. India are in dire straits at the moment