Moeen Ali. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

With hosts England looking down the barrel in the 2nd Test against the Proteas at Nottingham, all-rounder Moeen Ali, who bagged 10 wickets in the first Test to help England take a 1-0 lead, remained optimistic about his team’s chances in the 2nd Test and spoke about their prospects of batting out 6 sessions and grinding out a draw.

With the weather expected to remain clear for the last 2 days. A more realistic target for England should be to bat more sensibly than the first innings and give a shot at the world record target of 474 runs. Ali feels that a draw is a possibility given the fact former captain Alastair Cook bats out the new ball and sets the platform for the rest of the side.

Ali, who scalped 4/78 with the ball during his interaction with the Guardian, said,

“We have got some very good batters who are capable of doing it. Cookie, when he gets in, is hard to get out and hopefully, we will see that. We need a good foundation to bat six sessions. The top three can be very solid and bat time, then we have [Root] in good form. But we will have a chat before play.”

South African opener Dean Elgar contradicting this fact said it should not happen if statistics are taken into calculation.

“According to the stats, it shouldn’t happen. The wicket is getting better but the odd ball is squatting a bit. It will be hard work for us to get 10 wickets but our bowlers are looking forward to it. We don’t want an easy Test victory – it has to be hard work to win a Test.

“We have opened up a few cracks in their side and will be brilliant for us in the future in this series. I’m not surprised by the swing since the Lord’s Test, we’ve been playing brilliant cricket for two or three years as one of the best teams in the world.”

English batting coach Mark Ramprakash who has been with the team for a long time now believes that it has been the aggressive mindset of the modern players after playing more and more T20’s which is adversely affecting the traditional format of cricket.

“With Twenty20 being prevalent, a higher percentage of the batters we are seeing come through [in domestic cricket] are gravitating to the white-ball game. There are not as many of your tried-and-tested county openers.

“When the ball does a little bit, you have to show due care and attention. But perhaps because there’s a mix of one-day cricket and four-day cricket, the players want to be a bit more proactive. It is not easy to bed in players at this level when the ball nips around with overcast skies. It is not easy to get them settled and confident,” Ramprakash said.


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