Spin legend Shane Warne says England hero Moeen Ali is “getting better and better” after viewing his latest superb performance with the ball to seal the Investec Test Series triumph over South Africa.
The Worcestershire all-rounder finished with 25 wickets in the four game series – the best by an England spinner since 1961 – after returning 5-69 in 19.5 overs at Old Trafford.
It clinched a 177 run success as the Proteas were bowled out for 202 and England recaptured the Basil D’Oliveira Trophy.
And, with more than 200 runs to his credit as well, it was no surprise that Moeen – a hat-trick hero at The Oval – was chosen as the Investec man of the series.
Australian star Warne, who is now part of the Sky Sports commentary team, said: “I think Moeen has improved in terms of his pace and also the line he bowls.
“He always used to bowl just outside off stump and now he has changed his line to a little further outside off stump which is a more attacking line.
“He has grown in confidence as well. He has accepted his role. He is the number one spinner, he is going to bat at seven or eight, and he is just getting better and better and getting more revs on the ball.
“He has also done the hard yards. Whenever we turn up at a Test, we always see him out there bowling. When he first started, I don’t think he did much of that. Now he is working every day at getting better and it is showing in results.”
Moeen collected the crucial wicket of Hashim Amla (83) – lbw on review – at 163-4 and then reaped havoc with the middle to lower order.
Quinton de Kock (1) drove at Moeen and edged to Alastair Cook at second slip and two balls later Theunis de Bruyn (0) departed after a low chance was accepted by Ben Stokes at first slip.
Then Moeen finished off the series as Morne Morkel (0) tried to hit over the top and was caught by skipper Joe Root at mid off and Ruanne Olivier (0) provided Stokes with another catch at slip.