Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Moeen Armed With Saeed “bowling Secrets” For England Test Bow At Lord’s

Moeen Armed With Saeed “bowling Secrets” For England Test Bow At Lord’s

Moeen Ali will play his first Test for England tomorrow – armed with all the "bowling secrets" of his Worcestershire team-mate and spin wizard Saeed Ajmal.

The 26-year-old is part of the team to face Sri Lanka at Lord's in the all-rounder role with skipper Alastair Cook confirming Moeen will bat at number six at his pre-match press conference today.

Moeen has earned his call-up after scoring mountains of runs in County Championship cricket during the last season and a half.

But the improvements in his off-spin have also been a key factor in his Test call-up and Ajmal has been an invaluable help.

Moeen said: "Saeed has given me all his bowling secrets. He says he hasn't really given them to anyone else.

"It is very honourable of him. I will keep my promise to him, that I won't pass the secrets on.

" I've got to make sure I work hard and do it for myself and do it for him and do it for England hopefully."

Moeen has built a close friendship with Ajmal since the Pakistan star first played for the county in 2011. He was in regular contact with Ajmal when there was uncertainty at the start of the season as to when he could begin his second spell at New Road.

Moeen said: "I spoke to him a couple of times just to make sure everything was okay. I try and look after him as much as I can. He tries to look after me as much as he can.

"That's Worcestershire in words. The club looks after you and you've got to look after the club."

Moeen is indebted to the help he has received in various quarters in helping him arrive at the position where he is contemplating a Test baptism.

He said: "I had to work really hard and Bumpy (Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes) pushed me hard to work hard. "There are a lot of people to thank. I came here and had the opportunity to be the leading off spinner for the last four or five years.

"There is a lot of people to thank but the hard work starts now. The hardest thing now will be to keep my spot and stay in there. I'll give it everything."

Moeen will not be phased by his first Test appearance. He said: "It's something I feel like I'm ready for. I've changed my game around to be a four-day player and hopefully a Test player. I feel like I'm ready and I'm just raring to go.

"I'm definitely more of a batsman who can bowl. I'm a bit more than a part-timer but hopefully I can develop into being a top-order batter and a good spinner.

"If I have to bowl, I'll be ready. I bowled quite a bit for Worcester last week and over the last two or three years I've bowled a lot for them.

"I've been the leading spinner at the time for the last two or three years. I know what I need to do. I can do a good job for the team."