Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Rhodes: Moeen England Role Is “testament To Batting Strength In This Country”

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes hailed Moeen Ali's superb century against Gloucestershire and believes the fact he comes in further down the order for England is "a testament to the batting strength in this country."

Moeen reverted to his normal County spot at number three and followed his 74 in the first innings with an unbeaten 136 off 144 balls in the drawn Specsavers County Championship clash at Bristol.

It is in contrast to his number eight role in Test cricket for England where he is viewed as the front-line spinner.

The ECB's technical director of elite coaching, Andy Flower, witnessed Moeen's fine knock.

Rhodes said: "Moeen Ali looked like a decent number three again. He has been a bit frustrated not having opportunities high up the order.

"He was looking forward to coming back and playing for us so he could score centuries again.

"He looked in great order. It's testament to the batting strength in this country that he bats number eight for England and I see it as a really good sign.

"Circumstances simply mean that there are seven other good players ahead of him."

Gloucestershire head coach Richard Dawson said: "Moeen is a beautiful player to watch and played some great shots.

"We had a couple of chances to get him, which we didn't quite take or the ball dropped just out of reach and that happens."

Moeen struck four sixes – two of them off successive balls from Jack Taylor – and 17 fours as he completed a 15th first class hundred of his career.