Moeen Ali Backed England’s Newly-Adopted Aggressive Approach In Test Cricket Under Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum Regime

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Moeen Ali, England’s all-rounder has backed the England team’s newly-adopted aggressive approach in Test cricket under the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum regime. Admitting that the philosophy might backfire at times, the 35-year-old who came out of his Test retirement recently pointed out that England was playing atrocious cricket in Tests before that.

Under former skipper Joe Root, England endured a horror run of only one win in 17 Tests. In Ben Stokes’ maiden assignment as Test captain, though, the Englishmen whitewashed New Zealand 3-0 at home. Moeen Ali officially unretired ahead of the Test series after speaking to new coach Brendon McCullum who is said to be having him in the plans for the Test series against Pakistan.

Moeen Ali has played the last of his 64 Tests for England AFP/Getty Images
Moeen Ali has played the last of his 64 Tests for England AFP/Getty Images

Moeen Ali Backed England’s Aggressive Approach And Wants Virat Kohli To Lead Again If Rohit Sharma Is Absent

England’s positive approach was clearly visible across the three Test matches against the Kiwis as they chased 250 plus scores every time in the 3 match Test series displaying an aggressive intent.

Sharing his views about the team’s aggressive philosophy, Moeen Ali said in an interview: “The way we were playing, it was quite embarrassing at times. We were playing terribly. With this brand of cricket, I know it’s a bit extreme at the minute, but it’s just more to give guys the confidence to go out and express themselves.”

He added: “I know someone while Ben Stokes was caught at mid-off in the first innings of the last Test. But I think he is showing the team that it’s okay to get out playing shots. England do need a bit of that. There will be bad days, but there were not many good days anyways.”

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

While Ben Stokes will lead England in the rescheduled Test against India in Birmingham, Team India is unsure about Rohit Sharma’s availability as he is in isolation after having tested COVID-19 positive.

Backing Virat Kohli to lead India in case of Rohit Sharma’s absence, Moeen Ali opined: “Because Virat was captain of the series last year, I would probably give it to him just for this one game. It’s obviously his call. He probably won’t want to do it. He’s happy and relaxed. But it’s a good idea. He’s got experience and it is a big series for India.”

Under Virat Kohli, India was 2-1 up in the four-match series in England last year when the last game at Old Trafford in Manchester was canceled due to COVID-19.

Moeen Ali Wants India To Field Both Spinners In Edgbaston Test Besides 3 Pacers

In the Test series against England last year, India preferred playing just the lone specialist spinner in all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja alongside four pacers. It meant that ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin never got a look into the playing eleven throughout the tour as India took a 2-1 lead before the fifth Test in Manchester was rescheduled to July 1-5 at Edgbaston this year.

Ravichandran Ashwin has 442 wickets in 86 Tests and he is only behind the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708), James Anderson (640*), Anil Kumble (619), Glenn McGrath (563), Stuart Broad (537) and Courtney Walsh (519).

He stated: “If I was India, I would go with three seamers, two spinners. Shami, Bumrah, Siraj and obviously the two spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin because of the conditions more than anything else. It might not spin so much in the first innings, but will definitely take spin later on.”

Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP
During their previous visit to England in 2021, Ravindra Jadeja was preferred as the main spinner, with Ravichandran Ashwin sitting out all four Tests.

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