Friday, June 13th, 2014

Bumpy Full Of Praise For Moeen Test Debut After Witnessing Lord’s Bow

Bumpy Full Of Praise For Moeen Test Debut After Witnessing Lord’s Bow

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes was full of praise for Moeen Ali after witnessing his first Test innings for England against Sri Lanka at Lord's yesterday.

Rhodes and county skipper Daryl Mitchell spoke to Ali before the start of play and then watched him scored a composed 48 in a rescue stand of 89 with Joe Root.

His ODI, T20 and now Test appearance have also secured Ali and incremental contract with his country.

Rhodes said: "I thought he played really, really well and I thought his early innings composure was excellent.

"He didn't let the occasion get the better of him and it was proper batting really. He left the ball well and made them bowl straight and tucked it off his legs.

"I thought he looked very much a Test cricketer which is great news even though it's very early days and we must stress that.

"Him and Root put on a partnership that dug England out of a whole and then Prior and Root reaped the rewards – but a lot of the hard work had been done by Moeen and Root.

"I was very proud to watch him play and I'm sure he will be happy with his first day of Test cricket."

Rhodes added: "Myself and Mitch chatted to him for a good 15 minutes after the toss and before the start of the game in the Long Room about how he was finding things.

"He was very relaxed and looked as if he belonged there so it was really good."

Ali raced to 18 off just 14 balls with the aid of four early boundaries.

Rhodes said: "It wasn't like he went thrashing away at the start. What happened was they bowled quite wide at him which was ideal and gave him the chance to leave balls.

"But everytime they came straight at him, they went straight at him and off his pads so that's the reason he collected runs quite quickly early on.

"He played at a nice even tempo and got through that early period because sometimes with Moeen, if he is scoring too quickly he gets a little bit worried.

"But he didn't let it bother him, he got into his pattern of four and five day cricket and played very well."

As for the increment contract, Rhodes said: "You tot up points for the games you play and then you get your reward with the increment contract and anyone who has played the number of games he has played deserves that.

"It is obviously more money for him which is great news. He recognises if you are going to make a lot of money out of cricket it is with playing for England or your IPL type riches.

"Now he is starting to get some real financial reward from being involved with England."