Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Moeen Ready For The Challenges Of Johnson And Co At World Cup

Moeen Ready For The Challenges Of Johnson And Co At World Cup

Moeen Ali is confident he can cope with an expected short pitched barrage at the ICC World Cup as the England opener prepares to face Mitchell Johnson in Saturday's opener against Australia in Melbourne.

The Worcestershire all-rounder was dismissed by Johnson in the recent Tri-Series final in Perth after fending at a short delivery.

But Moeen, who has established an effective opening partnership with Ian Bell, says he is ready for the challenges ahead.

Moeen said: "There have been times when I've been bounced out, especially against India (during the 2014 summer) when I didn't play the short ball very well.

"But against Australia in the Tri-Series I've felt like I've seen the ball well. Maybe because of the extra pace – there's something different about facing Australia.

"I just felt that was a good ball (from Johnson). I didn't feel like it was too quick, it was just right on the money. Before that I was playing him quite well so I'm not too worried about the short ball.

"I've been working quite hard on it so I feel like I'm ready to play against Australia on Saturday."

Moeen believes that whilst Johnson was quick, the Australian’s team-mate Mitchell Starc was even quicker.

He said: "I found Mitchell Starc quicker. Maybe because it was Johnson's first game back.

"Even though I got a good ball I felt I found Starc harder. "I looked at a lot of (Johnson's) balls, a lot were cross seam. They always do something a bit more. He's obviously a top-quality bowler, he's not just pace, he's quality as well.

"When I faced him that first over he was back he was tough – but on that day Mitchell Starc was quicker."

Moeen knows other nations are likely to test him against the short ball throughout the World Cup.

He said: "Yeah, of course. Ever since I opened the batting in Sri Lanka there were times they were kept bouncing me.

"I feel like I'm getting better at it and as long as I keep working hard at it I'll be all right."

Moeen was dismissed for four in England's final warm-up match against Pakistan in Sydney today.

He then sent down eight overs for 44 runs as Pakistan overhauled England's 250-8 and won by four wickets.