Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Moeen: “genuine Confidence” England Can Start Ashes On Winning Note

Moeen Ali believes there is a “genuine confidence” that England can end their 31 year sequence without a win at the Gabba in Thursday’s opening Ashes Test in Brisbane.

The Worcestershire all-rounder says such records are there to be broken as England complete their preparations for the five match series with Australia.

Not since the days of Ian Botham in 1986-87 – shortly before he joined Worcestershire – have England tasted victory on the ground.

Moeen said: “We are pretty relaxed. Ever since we have come to Brisbane we have been a lot more excited.

“Things are getting closer. We are ready to get out there and start playing.

“We’ve got two days of training now. Once they are done, the guys will be a lot more nervous but in general we are pretty relaxed at the moment.

“There is genuine confidence we can win here.

“It is going to be tough but records are there to be broken and things like that (no wins in 31 years) are there to change.

“It will be great to come away with a win and get a good start to the series.”

Moeen is unconcerned about his lack of batting ahead of the series after missing the opening two warm-up matches with a side strain and will treat the match like any other.

He said: “Previously I would have been worried about only having a little batting but over the last year I feel it is more of a mental thing, getting myself mentally right for the game batting-wise.

“How will I play? It depends on the situation of the game. I guess if I need to attack then I will. If I need to rein it in a bit, I will do that also.

“Naturally I’m quite an attacking batter so if I play just normal I tend to score quite freely but we will see what happens.

“If I need to take a few more risks then I will. I have played some horrific shots in the past.

“I’m guessing I will bat at seven. I will bat wherever. I think eventually I’d like to bat around five or six. I see myself as more of a batting all-rounder anyway.

“For me it’s just another game. I know it’s a slightly bigger game than normal but I’m going to try and play like I have always done and try and enjoy it.”

Moeen believes he can reap the benefits if Australia try to hit his off spin out of the attack.

He said: “Will they attack me? I don’t know what to expect. Most teams come after me. I don’t mind sometimes. You might go for a few more runs but you have always got the chance of a wicket.

“You do get good bounce on the ball here and putting revs on the ball is going to be really important here. Hopefully I can start well and get on a bit of run and hit my areas and not think too much about it.

“I’ve done a lot of work with Saqlain Mushtaq who has been here a few times in his career. I’m just going to try and do my best and that’s all I can do.”