England allrounder Moeen Ali. @ Getty Images
England allrounder Moeen Ali. @ Getty Images

Allrounder Moeen Ali admitted he was frustrated with his constant shuffling in batting during England’s historic series whitewash sweep against Sri Lanka recently. Moeen batted at No. 3 in the first Test in Galle where he departed for nought and three. In the second Test, he registered scored 10 in both the innings in Pallekele before hitting 33 and 22 in the final Test at Colombo.

“Yes, I wasn’t quite sure actually because in the warm-up games I batted seven and nine and then I was told I was going to bat at three,” he told Sky Sports Cricket on Tuesday.

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“Then after one game, I went down to six and seven. I’ve had that before so it’s not new to me. It can be frustrating but when you think about the side and what the team needs at the time then you kind of get over it and try to move on and try to do the best you can as a cricketer for England.”

With the ball, Moeen scalped 18 wickets, but struggled with the ball, a reason he attributed to the constant tweaking in his batting order.

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“I think it’s difficult to be consistent. I never had that match practice at three. The openers opened in the practice games, Joe Root batted four, I batted five or six and that can be quite frustrating because you haven’t been that three in the first two practice games and then you’re in the Test match and batting at three.

“It can be (frustrating) but the team was probably different to how they had it in the back of their heads at the start of the tour. We had to try and adapt to that as a team and I tried but it obviously didn’t work out, but with the ball it was great.”

Meanwhile, Moeen believes Jonny Bairstow, who scored a fine century in Colombo to steer England to their first away series whitewash in 56 years, can own the No. 3 spot.

“Definitely, I think he can after the quality he has sown over the years. He was always going to get a hundred that day,” said Moeen.

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“He’s that sort of guy, he thrives in those situations. He was obviously a little upset he wasn’t playing in the game before but that’s what you want from a side, somebody that can step up and come in at three and score a hundred.

“I’m sure he’s going to have challenges going forward, but he’s always stepped up to them and he’s a quality player.”