England all-rounder Moeen Ali opened up about batting at No.3 and its benefits for the team before the fourth Test at Manchester on Wednesday, July 19. The veteran also admitted the challenges of batting at that position against the Australian bowlers but he was more than happy to do the job as well. However, after facing a 0-2 deficit, England brought Ali back into the side.
However, despite scoring 21 at No. 7 in the first innings, he came in at one drop during the second innings which saw Harry Brook bat at his No. 5 position, and that worked as the young batter scoring a match-winning 75 in England’s successful run-chase as well. While speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the important fourth Test, Moeen Ali said:
“It’s obviously going to be challenge batting No 3 against Australia with the best bowling attack in the world. I’m looking forward to it.I do enjoy batting three, the challenge of batting three. I think for the team right now it’s the best thing. I’m looking forward to playing against these guys and getting challenged. I know it’s not easy because they are obviously very good. If I feel like I’m going in and I’m playing well I might be aggressive. If they’re bowling well I might not be aggressive – I’ll try and bat as properly as I can.”
However, the veteran all-rounder also added that Harry Brook should bat at No. 5, a position where he has done well in his young career as well. Notably, Moeen Ali has batted in every position from one to nine so far in his 66-match Test career. On the other hand, Brook has batted at No. 5 in 14 of his 17 innings, with a stunning average of 74.69, including four centuries and as many half-centuries as well.
“I think Brook is a great player and will be a great player. I just personally feel like five is great for him and the impact he can have at five is much more than what he can probably do at three, at the moment. I’m not saying he won’t be a good No 3 I just feel right now for the team it’s probably best that I go three,” added Ali.
Meanwhile, Moeen Ali backed the stalwart James Anderson, with the champion pacer returning to England playing XI for the fourth Test as well. After missing out in the third Test at Headingley,he will replace the injured Ollie Robinson on his home ground at Manchester.
“There’s no doubt England are a better team with James Anderson in there. In the two games he played I actually thought he bowled really well in both of them. I think he’s been a bit unfortunate with catches and things probably not going his way,” said Moeen Ali. “Being the best bowler England have ever had and being a legend of a player and a great guy as well, it’s great to see him have the opportunity to play, it could be his last one, and hopefully he bowls well and gets us the win.”
“I think I think we’ve challenged the number one team in the world and we’ve gone toe to toe with them,” he said. “At crucial times they’ve managed to win that battle but I don’t think we’re far off. All the games have been fantastic but the belief in the changing room is that we can win this series, 3-2 and there’s no doubt we have that,” Moeen Ali concluded.