23rd May, 2019

Moeen upbeat for Champions Trophy tests

Rob George 21st May, 2017

WORCESTERSHIRE all-rounder Moeen Ali believes home advantage could benefit England in next month’s ICC Champions Trophy.

The Pears star departed New Road this week for an ECB training camp in Spain ahead of England’s summer of cricket and believes the Three Lions’ home form could be the key to glory.

England have won seven out of nine one-day series since the embarrassing 2015 Cricket World Cup campaign in the Australia. The one-day series with South Africa kicks off on Wednesday (May 24) ahead of the Champions Trophy which begins on June 1, and Moeen said confidence was high.

“We feel like we playing very well at home so we have a good chance of success I think,” he said.

Moeen played a part with bat and ball in three Royal London One Day Cup games as the Rapids sealed their passage to the knockout stages of the competition.

And although he couldn’t replicate his big-hitting 90 from 87 balls effort from earlier in the campaign, Moeen was happy to have played his part.

“I don’t want to miss out too much on playing for Worcestershire so I’m really thankful for the ECB for releasing me as much as possible,” he said.

“It’s a very important season for the club, to get promoted in the championship would be great as would success in the white ball format.”

Moeen and his England team-mates kick off a summer of cricket which could see the Three Lions play as many as 25 games ahead between now and the end of September.

But the all-rounder, who could be involved in all forms of the game for his country, said the schedule wasn’t a concern.

“I love playing cricket so I will play as much as I can,” he said.

“It was a very busy winter, I thoroughly enjoy playing for England and look back with some happy thoughts.

“I love the buzz of the England dressing room and being around the guys. When you aren’t around them you miss the banter.”

Moeen did not feature in England’s one-day series with Ireland with Adil Rashid and Joe Root handling the spin bowling in both games.

Despite the omission, the all-rounder is looking to cement his spot in the test team and hopes to retain his place in the middle order which saw him score two centuries on England’s tour of India in the winter.

“I batted at four and five so I would love a permanent spot, especially number five but obviously it depends on the team want,” he said.

“If I bat five you can play two spinners and four seamers and balances the team out better, I think,” he added.

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