Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Moeen Relishing Challenge Of Kohli And Co As India Bat First At Trent Bridge

Moeen Relishing Challenge Of Kohli And Co As India Bat First At Trent Bridge

Moeen Ali is relishing the challenge of coming up against Virat Kohli and India's other batsmen in the five match Investec Test series after keeping his place for today's opener at Trent Bridge.

The Worcestershire all-rounder is hopeful that England can come out on top in the series "if we can all gell and really connect as a team."

Moeen is likely to be put to the test in the part-time spinner's role against Kohli and Co but it is a challenge he is looking forward to.

He said: "It is going to be tough because they are a very good side and have got some class players but so have we. We've got some top players in our side.

"Hopefully if we can all gell and really connect as a team, we can come out on top. I'm looking forward to it and am just going to give it my best shot.

"India may have no Tendulkar or Dravid but they will never struggle for having batters with Kohli and these guys coming in.

"They are going to be top batters and in the future they are going to be just as good as those guys (Tendulkar, Dravid). "

Moeen added: "Kohli is a very good player. I played against him in Bangladesh in a warm-up game and I couldn't believe how good he was.

"It's different when you see these guys live, like Kumar Sangakkara in the Sri Lanka series.

"I'm looking forward to playing against him (Kohli) and hopefully he won't get too many runs against us."

Moeen scored 48 on his Test debut at Lord's and claimed the scalp of Kumar Sangakkara and then 108 not out at Headingley – as England just failed to save the game – in addtion to two wickets, including Sangakkara for a second time.

He said: "I was disappointed with the result but delighted that I played two Test matches for England. It's a massive achievement. To do that, I'm very pleased and hopefully I will play many more.

"I felt good all the way through. I just played like I played for Worcestershire, played my game and see where it takes me.

"I feel comfortable with batting and bowling even though obviously it is much tougher but it's not something I shy away from.

"I was pleased with first innings 48 at Lord's. I was disappointed with the way I got out and a couple of innings after that. To get a 100 in the second innings at Headingley was very pleasing.

"It would have been nice if the result had been better."

Moeen will again be used as a part-time spinner and is happy to be deployed in whatever role he is asked to fulfil by skipper Alastair Cook.

He said: "It's tough and different because these guys play spin day in and day out, Sri Lankans and Indians, so it's not easy coming into your first game bowling against these guys.

"But to get Sangakkara out twice and another top order batter was nice.

"It's just about adjusting to bowling at these guys compared to first class cricket but hopefully I can do a good job for England.

"It is tough (bowling short spells) but I'm happy to bowl whenever the captain says. My job is to try and bowl tight and pick up a couple of wickets here and there.

"As long as the captain is happy with me, I'm alright."

Moeen bowled two overs for seven runs before lunch after entering the attack at 79-1 from 22 overs after India won the toss.

He bowled a further four overs at a cost of 21 runs in the run-up to tea when the Indian total stood on 177-3 from 59 overs.

Moeen sent down three further overs for 22 runs immediately before the second new ball was taken.

He ended the day with figures of 0-50 from nine overs as India closed on 259-4.