Ryan Harris' retirement good for England - Moeen Ali
England all-rounder Moeen Ali believes that the sudden retirement of Australia's veteran pacer Ryan Harris gives an advantage to the hosts during the Ashes series that begins on Wednesday.
While lauding the contributions of Harris to the game, Ali opined that the absence of the 35-year-old will be a major blow to the Australian attack, especially in English conditions.
"Massive. He's obviously a quality bowler and he will be missed in world cricket,” said Ali.
"He's somebody who would have bowled really well in England, we felt, so it's good for us.
“But it's a shame that he's had to retire."
With his place in the side under the scanner, Ali revealed that he had been working harder to sort out his flaws both in batting and bowling.
Although there is a lot excitement around the Ashes series, Ali maintains that he wants to go ahead with a calculated approach.
"I've tried to stay away from it a little bit, to be honest with you, just put my head down and get my training done.
“But it's quite natural for the Ashes and the whole nation is very excited."
After a humiliating series whitewash last time around in Australia, Alastair Cook’s England team will be looking to settle scores at home to reclaim the urn.
Ali knows that he may be one of the targets of the aggressive Australian line-up, but the left-hander sounded confident of coping with the challenge in his debut Ashes series.
"I feel good. I feel like I have trained quite hard lately, so I feel like I'm ready now and hopefully looking forward to Wednesday."
With England's pace combination almost settled, it will be a toss-up between Ali and leg-spinner Adil Rashid for the specialist spinner's slot, unless the team management decides to play two spinners.
© Cricket World 2015