Moeen Ali's bowling has been England's silver lining in their torrid first two days of the second Test against India. He got the wickets of Rohit Sharma (161), Virat Kohli (0), Ajinkya Rahane (67), and Axar Patel (5) in India's first innings. The 33-year-old varied his pace to perfection and made the ball spin sharply from rough patches on the pitch.
Speaking ahead of the day's play on Monday, Moeen Ali praised Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara. He also spoke about Virat Kohli's dismissal, which has drawn a lot of attention.
"Yesterday I felt I really bowled well. They didn't let me settle, Rohit and Pujara played me particularly well and never let me bowl the way I wanted to bowl. Getting four wickets was nice though and I know that had I played the practice games I would've done better. Virat is a brilliant player of spin, to get him out was great. It was a nice ball. The preparation has been tough. I didn't play any games because I ripped my finger and bowling in games is different from bowling in the nets," said Moeen Ali.
Moeen Ali's battle against Rohit Sharma was enthralling to watch. The Indian opener came with a set plan to apply the sweep shot against Ali. As his innings progressed, Rohit began to use his deft footwork to hit the off-spinner over his head.
However, Ali had the last laugh as he outfoxed Rohit into slog-sweeping straight into the hands of the deep square-leg fielder.
"It is going to be tough for us to win or draw this game" - Moeen Ali
Despite Moeen Ali's fascinating bowling, England are in a tricky situation in the second Chennai Test. The visitors have already conceded a lead of almost 250 after the first two days, and anything above 300 will be virtually impossible to chase on this wicket.
Taking a realistic view of the situation, Moeen Ali said the visitors now need to show some fight for the remainder of the Test.
"I think we just need to fight, it is going to be tough for us to win or draw this game. We need to show some fight with the ball and the bat. The toss is massive here. The difference between the two sides was Rohit's innings]and he just took it away from us," Moeen Ali concluded.
India are favorites to win the second Chennai Test and level the four-match series at 1-1.