Friday, June 5th, 2015

Moeen Will Speak With Saeed As He Looks “to Put Game Right” For The Ashes

Moeen Will Speak With Saeed As He Looks “to Put Game Right” For The Ashes

Moeen Ali is disappointed at not being selected for England's ODI series against New Zealand but accepts he needs to go and bowl for Worcestershire "to get my mind and game right for the Ashes."

The all-rounder was left out of the squad for the five game series with the Black Caps after an unproductive second Test against Brendon McCullum's side at Headingley with bat and ball.

Moeen is now set to play three LV = County Championship matches and NatWest T20 Blast games for his county in the next month before the opening Ashes Test on July 8.

The 27-year-old will also have the added benefit of being able to seek the advice of Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal who offered him the benefit of his knowledge during two previous spells with Worcestershire.

Moeen, who will play alongside Ajmal in tonight's T20 Blast match at Northampton, said: "Obviously I'm very disappointed not to be selected for the one-day squad.

"I really enjoy my role as opening batsman and spinner with England.

"But I think it is very important for me to go and get some bowling under my belt and, with Saeed Ajmal in the same side, I can talk to him and really get my mind and my game right for the Ashes.

"I hope I can get some rhythm with my bowling. I feel once I bowl well in a couple of innings, I will be fine.

"I do think I have the potential to be a good spinner or a decent spinner. I feel the ball comes out of my hand nicely and the shape is good.

"But I need to be consistently there with my action. I feel I am falling away a little once I have delivered.

"As a batter, I know when things are not well, I know who to go to and what my own go-to areas are. With my bowling, it is not quite there yet.

"I always see myself still as a batter who can bowl so I don't have the same knowledge to fall back on."

Moeen was targeted by the New Zealand batsman who tried to play aggressive shots to combat his off-spin.

He scored 58 and 43 despite dropping down from number six to eight and picked up four wickets in the First Test at Lord's.

But Moeen failed twice with the bat and came in for some heavy punishment from the New Zealand batsmen this week at Headingley in the cold and windy conditions.

Moeen said: "I was happy in the first game, bat and ball I felt like I did alright. In the last Test I didn't score many runs and didn't bowl that well.

"I struggled a bit in that game but the conditions were very tough. I have never bowled in conditions like those at Headingley last week.

"It has been tough. Teams have come out and played shots against me and attacked me so it has not been easy.

"India was the same last year and they played some shots. But I know once I get a lot of bowling under my belt then hopefully I can be ready for the Ashes.

"I am glad in a way it (the Headingley Test) did happen so I can draw on that for the next time. You can learn a lot from these things.

"I certainly don't have the experience that Graeme Swann had for when conditions are like that. It will take a bit of time to learn.

"Hopefully this is just a bit of a blip and I can get some ryhthm bowling plenty of overs for Worcestershire. I started pretty poorly last year but then itcame together versus India."

As for dropping down to number eight in the batting order, Moeen said: "I’ll play wherever they put me. "It’s obviously different being in the top six but it’s something that I’ll get used to in time.

"It's not easy learning a new role. When the guys below me in the order come in, I have to bat more positively and it's not always easy if you're not already in and settled.

"I have spoken to Joe Root about how to bat with the tail. I think people forget that I'm a top order batter. I have had a few challenges with that as well and sometimes there is a lot of my plate.

"But I knew there would be bumps along the way and whilst my confidence has taken a bit of a knock, the belief remains strong."

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: "I don't want to get in trouble with the authorities but I'm quite surprised he has been left out of the one-dayers.

"He is a very dangerous one-day player and whether they just want him to take a bit of time out from international cricket, I'm not sure.

"I would imagine he will be quite hurt by it, not playing in the big games.

"The good thing about Moeen is he is not one to sulk, he is one to do something about it, and if that means it inspires him into some good performances for Worcestershire, both he and Worcestershire can be benefactors."