New Zealand’s dynamic skipper Brendon McCullum believes that England should promote Moeen Ali to the openers slot for their upcoming series against Pakistan set to be played in UAE.
After a disastrous Ashes series for Adam Lyth, England are bound to be on the hunt for a new opening partner for Alastair Cook. McCullum feels that Ali, being a good player of spin bowling should be given more freedom and thus must be utilized as an opener.
The New Zealand skipper also felt that England would need to adapt very well in order to find success in the Gulf. “Once the ODIs against Australia are over, England head to UAE, and the fact is you have to do things differently in Asia. They will need two spinners against Pakistan, and the best way to achieve that is to turn Moeen Ali into an opener. He’ll enjoy the lack of bounce, and looks like a perfect horse for a course,” McCullum wrote in his column for Dailymail.
“That (Ali as opener) means the end, for the time being, of Adam Lyth. He’ll be a very good cricketer, it just didn’t work out for him against Australia. But the selectors deserve real credit for sticking with him throughout the five Tests. That breeds a confidence within the wider group. In terms of the tour to South Africa that follows the UAE, you wouldn’t want Ali opening there, because the pitches are bouncier. Alex Hales (left) may come into play,” McCullum wrote.
McCullum also dismissed the views of a lot of Australians who said that England had purposely doctored pitches in the Ashes, thus gaining an extreme use of their home advantage. “I’ve read comments from some of the Australians about the surfaces in England, but the variety of conditions around the world is what makes Test cricket so great. I wouldn’t turn up in Bangladesh, which is where Australia go next, expecting hard, bouncy pitches. Test cricket needs its quirks. It makes it challenging. And if the home board provides a wink and a nudge in the direction of the groundsmen, I have no issue with that,” McCullum wrote.