IND vs ENG 2016, 1st Test: Reverse Swing The Key On Day 3, Says Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali, England all-rounder, has said their bowlers will have to be consistent with their length if they are to trouble Indian batsmen on Day 3 of the first Test at Rajkot.
After Joe Root’s heroics on Day 1, Moeen and Ben Stokes hit tons as Alastair Cook-led England posted a massive 537, their third highest team total on Indian soil. For hosts, Ravindra Jadeja picked up three wickets while Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and offie Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed two scalps each. In reply, Virat Kohli’s team got off to a solid start as the duo of Murali Vijay and Gautam Gambhir put on an unbeaten 63-run stand at stumps on Day 2.
“They (Vijay and Gambhir) obviously played quite well towards the end. Thought there was good spin and nice reverse in the middle so that would be helpful tomorrow,” Moeen said.
“The slower balls spun a bit more than the rest but the build up to that ball has to be good. We need to bowl in the good areas and wait for the pitch of do the rest. Need to stay patient and let the pitch do the rest which is something Saqlain talks about as well.”
Moeen, who usually bats at No. 8 in Tests, has been pushed up the order since Bangladesh series. In two Tests, he scored 92 runs (while batting at five), with a crucial fifty in Chittagong – the match that England won by 22 runs. With his technique being conducive on slower pitches, the management’s plan to stick with him in the middle-order has proved to be a master-stroke only because of the patience he exhibited in his 117-run knock against the deadly duo of Ashwin and Jadeja. The southpaw now has four Test centuries, all of which have come against sub-continent teams (Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India)
“Before going in to bat, I wasn’t feeling great, I was feeling a bit lethargic. But I thought I used my feet well and the singles were there for me to take. There were times I wanted to have a hack at times but I have been trying to practice as much as I can,” he said.
With pitch deteriorating a bit, Cook will rely on his premier spinner Moeen to pick up early wickets and keep the Indian batsmen in check.
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