Friday, August 28th, 2015

Rhodes Willing To Open With Moeen If It Aids England Winter Plans

Rhodes Willing To Open With Moeen If It Aids England Winter Plans

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes would be willing to aid England's potential plans for the winter by opening the batting with Moeen Ali IF they are contemplating going down that route with the all-rounder during the forthcoming series against Pakistan.

Rhodes has seen the media speculation suggesting that Moeen may step up into that role in the United Arab Emirates.

And the 28-year-old has indicated he "wouldn't mind opening in Tests."

Rhodes would be happy to accommodate England by playing Moeen in that position – depending, of course, on whether or not he was released for the climax of the domestic season.

Moeen has traditionally batted at number three in the LV = County Championship and opened in white ball cricket for his county and country but never batted higher than number six in Test cricket.

Rhodes said: "With Moeen playing in the one-dayers, that would take him right up to the brink of the last two games (against Durham and Middlesex).

"There is talk in the media that England may try and open the batting with him in Dubai against Pakistan.

"If that is the case, it seems logical that maybe we can help that out.

"If England requested him to open the batting, then we can accommodate that."

Moeen scored 293 runs at an average of 36.82 in the Ashes triumph this summer – the most ever in a series by an England player batting at number eight or lower.

He said via his ECB blog: "I would love to be batting back up the order, because coming in at number eight it was already 80 for six or something like that.

"Before the series I thought to myself that the best thing I could do was be consistent and hopefully push myself up. I feel I've done that, and I was last man out in both innings at the Oval.

"I certainly wouldn't mind opening, in Tests as well as white-ball cricket – even though I've never done it in first-class cricket. I have in the second team as well as in one-day stuff with Worcestershire and England.

"But I feel a bit bad talking about that because of Adam Lyth. It's probably the hardest job in cricket, opening the batting, especially in the Ashes."