Moeen Ali ready to open the batting in Tests

Moeen Ali ready to open the batting in Tests
Moeen Ali, who had a reasonable Ashes outing with both bat and ball, has expressed his readiness to open the batting for his side in Tests.
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England all-rounder Moeen Ali, who had a reasonable Ashes outing with both bat and ball, has expressed his readiness to open the batting for his side in Tests.

Adam Lyth's failure in the Ashes series has raised debate over skipper Alastair Cook’s partner for England's upcoming series.

Although having batted no higher than the number six slot in Tests, Ali is confident of fulfilling the role at the top of the order.

“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," said Ali.

"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.”

During the Ashes series, Ali batted way down the order at number eight, amassing 293 runs in the process at a fine average of 36.62.

While he has never batted at the top of the order in first-class cricket, Ali has taken on the role for Worcestershire in the shorter formats.

Ali has also opened the batting for England in One-Day Internationals with moderate success and the 28-year-old is confident of repeating it in the longer format of the game.

"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."

While expressing his ambitions to open the batting, Ali also had words of encouragement of his under-fire team-mate Lyth, who has had a poor run with the bat.

Ali heaped praise on Lyth’s credentials as a batsman and expressed confidence that the youngster would return to form soon.

"I really admire the way he stayed bubbly and positive in the changing room when it can be very easy to not give anything to the team.

“That's a big attribute to have and the reason everyone always likes Lythy. I think he'll come back strong."

Ali ended up bagging 12 wickets in the five-match series at a slightly expensive average of 45.5 but the timing of his wickets were crucial in tilting the balance in favour of England, particularly in Cardiff.

While Ali’s bowling in the Ashes series has proved vital for England at crucial junctures, the off-spinner was critical about his bowling performance particularly in the final Test. 

"I wasn't happy with my bowling again," he said after England's defeat in the final Test.

"I know I took three wickets but I was expensive.

“It hasn't been easy in this series because they've been coming at me, and sometimes even when you bowl well you get hit for fours.

"I'll speak to people like Saeed Ajmal at Worcester about what's been happening but mostly it will be about working it out for myself."

After making an impact in England’s Ashes triumph, Ali is now ranked seventh among the all-rounders in Tests. 

© Cricket World 2015