26th May, 2019

Rhodes keeps options open over Moeen role

Rob George 3rd Sep, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

DIRECTOR of cricket Steve Rhodes said Worcestershire would be willing to aid England’s potential plans for the winter by opening the batting with Moeen Ali.

Moeen, man of the match in Monday’s (August 31) T20 international win over Australia, is widely tipped to step into that role when England face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates next month.

And Rhodes said the Pears would be happy to accommodate England by playing Moeen in that position, depending on whether or not he was released for the climax of the domestic season.

Moeen has traditionally batted at number three in the LV= County Championship and opened in white ball cricket for his county and country but never batted higher than number six in Test cricket.

“With Moeen playing in the one-dayers, that would take him right up to the brink of the last two games (against Durham and Middlesex),” Rhodes said. “There is talk in the media that England may try and open the batting with him in Dubai against Pakistan.

“If that is the case, it seems logical that maybe we can help that out. If England requested him to open the batting, then we can accommodate that.”

Moeen scored 293 runs at an average of 36.82 in the Ashes triumph this summer — the highest ever in a series by an England player batting at number eight or lower.

“Before the series I thought to myself that the best thing I could do was be consistent and hopefully push myself up,” said Moeen. “I feel I’ve done that, and I was last man out in both innings at the Oval.

“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,” he added.

Moeen scored 72 off 46 balls and took the wicket of big-hitting Aussie Glenn Maxwell as England recorded a five-run win over Australia.

The all-rounder is in the squad for the one day internationals which kick off with a day night game at Southampton tomorrow (Thursday).

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