Moeen Ali not angered by bit-part England role – but ready to take any ‘proper chance’ he gets

Moeen Ali says he is not angered by his bit-part role in England’s white-ball set-up – and feels ready to take any “proper chance” given to him.

Off-spinning all-rounder Moeen featured in just one of the three T20Is against Sri Lanka last month, having been left out of all five in India in Ahmedabad earlier this year.

The 34-year-old has played in the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka but his impact has been minimal, getting just one hit at No 6 in the batting order and bowling only two overs so far.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s third ODI in Bristol, at which England will be looking to seal a 3-0 series sweep, Moeen told reporters: “At the moment I am not bowling or batting much and I haven’t really played in the T20 stuff.

“I am obviously disappointed as you want to play but we are winning so there is not much I can say or do. There is no argument for me to say, ‘I need to bat up the order or I need to do this or that’.

“That is not my way. Even when Morgs [captain Eoin Morgan] tells me I am not playing, I never question it. I always feel like he is doing what’s best for the team.

“I think in the past I would let it affect me, which then affected my game mentally, but I have come to realise it’s not me, it’s just sometimes the way it is and not to blame myself.

“It’s easy sometimes to blame yourself or think I need to do more or change but that’s not me, it’s never me. I just want to enjoy my cricket.

“I am playing well. I feel domestically for Worcestershire and in the IPL that I have been doing quite well so when I am called upon, I am ready. When my proper chance comes, hopefully I will take it.”

Moeen has played just one Test since 2019 – taking eight wickets in the third Test against India in Chennai in February of this year before flying home as part of England’s rest and rotation policy.

The spinner says that haul against Virat Kohli’s men gave him a real boost and is hopeful he can “play a big role” at home this summer against the same side, when the five-Test series starts at Trent Bridge in August.

Moeen expects Jack Leach to be England’s first-choice slow bowler despite the Somerset man being overlooked for the two-Test series against New Zealand as the hosts’ played an all-pace frontline attack.

Ali, therefore, thinks his best route into the side is as a second spinner.

The former Warwickshire player added: “It’s nice to know I can still get wickets and do quite well in Test cricket. Confidence-wise that’s nice going forward now hopefully for later on in the summer.

“If the weather is good, I think I will play a big role in the India series.

“Leachy is pretty much No 1. He hasn’t played much unfortunately for him but my guess is England will go with him first and then if they need two spinners I will play.”

As for his hopes of being a key man for England in the T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman later this year, Moeen added: “That’s what I would love. I think it being in the UAE is obviously ideal for me.

“Going there with the wickets hopefully spinning a little bit, you get more chance of a game.”

Watch the third and final ODI between England and Sri Lanka live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Sunday.


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