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Why India can't play Moeen Ali

Sachin Arora
2.51K   //    31 Aug 2018, 23:49 IST

In England, Moeen Ali has taken 24 wickets against India in 6 matches. Against the rest of the oppositions (in England), he has picked up 63 wickets in 23 matches. There is a stark difference between the two records. What makes Moeen Ali so lethal against India?

England v India: Specsavers 4th Test - Day Two
Moeen Ali getting rid of Ashwin

Indians are regarded as very good players of spin bowling. Great exponents of spin bowling like Shane Warne and Muralitharan had moderate records against India, but an innocuous-looking Moeen Ali has run through the Indian side on many occasions.

Once again, the ghosts of 2014 came back to haunt India, when Moeen Ali picked up 5 wickets during the first innings of the 4th Test at Southampton.

Moeen Ali is not a big spinner of a cricket ball- in fact, most of his deliveries go straight on with odd one turning. His strength is his accuracy.

The Indian batsmen also often play for the turn against Moeen. Since some of his deliveries go straight on, batsmen end up playing down the wrong line, which results in either getting hit on the pads in front of the wicket or nicking the ball.

Ali's accuracy makes things even more difficult for Indian batsmen as he doesn't give many loose balls, unlike Adil Rashid, who releases pressure with a loose delivery every over. They also go after him sometimes, and lose their wicket in the process.

In a way, Moeen Ali is turning out to be a right-handed Jadeja, who is also very accurate and turns the odd one.

Ali has not been able to replicate this success against other sides, which tells you that he is playable with a little bit of game awareness, application and self-control.

With the second innings of this must-win Test match soon coming up, the Indian players need to come up with a strategy to counter their nemesis, otherwise the 5th Test might well end up being a dead rubber.

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Sachin Arora
a chartered accountant, a theatre actor and a former club cricketer who still believes that test cricket is the only form of cricket which will survive the test of time. A keen follower of other sports and Indian athletes. A movie buff and a short story writer.
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