Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Moeen: England Must “up Our Skill Level” Against The Black Caps

Moeen Ali says England must "up our skill level and up our game" in their next World Cup clash against New Zealand in Wellington on Friday.

The Worcestershire all-rounder expects the Black Caps to provide as difficult a challenge as Australia who inflicted a 111 run defeat on England in Melbourne at the weekend.

But Moeen also believes an England victory against the joint host nation will "show everybody we are a good, serious side."

Moeen said: "Yes, we were given a wake-up call. Australia have set the standard and New Zealand is going to be just as hard we feel. It shows just how tough international cricket is.

"That was probably the worst we've played in Australia throughout the trip so far. It was a bad result for us.

"Maybe we were a little nervous. A lot of us are probably not used to such big games. If you look at the Australian side a lot of them play in big competitions with big crowds a lot of the time.

"A lot of us probably played at places like New Road in front of a few people.

"Australia have been very tough for us and since we've been here they have beaten us every time (three matches). They have been too good for us.

"But whoever plays Australia at the moment are going to find it tough. They are such a good side it's probably good to get that game out of the way.

"Obviously the confidence goes down a bit but we have got until Friday to work hard and try and get some confidence back in the nets.

"Now we can look to string wins together. Getting a win and backing it up with another, we can get on a roll and we will be good.

"If we can play well against New Zealand, and get the result, I am sure everyone in the camp will be very confident."

Moeen added: "We're going to have to up our skill level and up our game against New Zealand.

"It shows just how tough international cricket is and in a major tournament we are going to have to be ready.

"We have a tough draw. We have to play two of the best sides in the first two games.

"But if we can win on Friday it puts us in a great position. It will show everybody that we are a good, serious side."

Moeen is aware of the threat that New Zealand can pose.

He said: “Most teams have guys now who can smash the ball towards the end.

“New Zealand have power throughout the batting line-up from the top all the way down. Their attack is on a par with Australia.

“We’ve going to have to be on our A-game especially in the last 10-15 overs when New Zealand are very, very dangerous."