‘At tea, the guys were calling me Geoffrey Boycott’: Moeen Ali

08 Sep, 2018 9:15 am

LONDON (92 News) – Despite scoring just nine in his one outing at No.3 in Southampton, Moeen Ali was persisted with in that position at The Oval, and he came good, so much so that he earned comparisons to Geoffrey Boycott.

Ali scored a 170-ball 50, but it wasn’t a chanceless knock. He was dropped when on just two by Virat Kohli at slips, and was beaten numerous times thereafter.

Despite that, there was plenty to admire in the way Ali went about his knock, given he had uncharacteristically restricted himself – it took him 167 balls to bring up his half-century, and that promptly gave rise to the Boycott comparisons.

“When I went into tea, the guys were calling me Geoffrey Boycott. Then they came in, played and missed their first ball, and I was pretty happy with that,” he said.

“I just tried to take it a ball at a time. I thought they bowled really well. The wicket was quite slow, but the ball was always doing something, so I just tried to stay as patient as I could. The Indian bowlers didn’t give me a lot to hit. So I just tried to bat. I don’t always play like that, but we were in a decent position.”

It was one of the best bowling attacks I’ve faced. They were just always, consistently there.

Being a versatile player, Ali has always been able to contribute to the balance of this England side. He has scored runs at No.3 for Worcestershire, and now, he has runs in that position for England.

He admitted, however, that there are times when he wants to cement a position for himself. “It’s a good thing because there’s times when you can balance the team out,” he said. “But there are times also when you just feel you want a set batting position in the side.

“I’ve not done much for England before (at No.3). We’ve tried people, not just at three, but at four, five. Whatever it is, I don’t see why I can’t bat there or I can’t do the job there. I bat three for Worcester, managed to score some runs there this year. So why not?

“I just go out, no matter where I bat, and I just try to play according to the situation. But I managed to score some runs there, whenever I batted there this year, and I felt why not – just go out and play the same way.”

Doing that against “one of the best bowling attacks I’ve faced” certainly helped England’s cause. “You’re always hoping to let them bowl and bowl,” said Ali. “But they just kept coming, bowling same pace, same areas. It was one of the best bowling attacks I’ve faced. They were just always, consistently there.”

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