Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Century-Maker Moeen Hopes To “bat At Number Five In The Long Run”

Moeen Ali says it is "challenging" going up and down the England batting order and he would "love to bat number five in the long run."

The Worcestershire all-rounder has see-sawed from opening against Pakistan last winter to dropping down to number eight for the majority of the year before moving up to number five in Bangladesh and now number four in India.

Moeen scored his fourth Test hundred of the year and completed 1,000 Test runs in 2016 while making 146 – at number four – in the fifth Test against India in Chennai.

He said afterwards, in an interview with Sky Sports: "This year it (the batting) has gone quite well. To get the four hundreds this year, I'm pretty pleased with it.

"How challenging is going up and down the order? It is tough. When you haven't got a consistent number, then it is quite tough to be consistent.

"Wherever the team need me, I'll bat, but hopefully one day I'll have a spot to myself.

"I was batting five at the start of the tour and with the balance of the side, I ended up batting at number four.

"It is a good position to bat but, being an all-rounder, I'd love to bat number five in the long run."

Moeen was the target of some shorter deliveries today after resuming on 120 and was eventually dismissed off one of them from Umesh Yadav at deep mid wicket.

He said: "These things happen. They were bowling a good pace at the time and it was a bit two-paced but I just felt to take it on was the best option at the time.

"I'm pleased with the hundred and to get the team out of a little bit of a hole at the start and what matters is that I got the 146."

Moeen admits that it will be difficult for England to take 20 wickets on the surface in Chennai.

He said: "It is going to be very hard. it is a tough challenge but, for us to win the game, we are going to have to take the 20 wickets and we've got three days to do that.

"This evening I tried to bowl a bit different. Normally I just try and bowl the same ball everytime. I mixed it up a little bit to see what happens.

"Is patience tomorrow the key? I think so. They are a very good side and they play spin very well. There is not much for the seamers and we are going to have to bowl well, to bowl them out twice."