I don't take it seriously, says Moeen Ali on opposition barbs

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London, Sep 1 (IANS) Few would forget the scene from the second Test at Lord’s in which England vice-captain Jos Buttler got into a chatter with pacer Jasprit Burmah. Buttler, who is skipping the fourth Test to attend the birth of his second child, sometimes looked flustered against an Indian team that displayed in-your-face attitude.

Moeen Ali, the man who has replaced Buttler as vice-captain in his absence in the fourth Test, is different and completely unflustered at least with his body language.

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“I think few things,” said Ali on being asked about things that make him stay calm amid opposition barbs.

“I don’t think I take it (opposition sledging) too seriously at times. I think some of the stuff that the opposition does is to get us play differently. I think I try to control as much as I can. I have got friends in the opposition team. Obviously, I will be playing hard. I won’t let it get in the way of me and my teammates and the opposition. I think of representing my family, parents, things like that,” added Ali to the media in a virtual interaction.

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Ali says that his first job is to cement his place in the playing XI despite having being pushed into the role of captaincy.

This year, even as England have played 11 Test matches, the off-spin bowling all-rounder has played in only three of them. Two of those have been in the ongoing series.

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“The next two games are important for me, to keep my place in the squad initially. I will be keen to go to Australia. We will see the [Australia] tour if it happens and if I am able to cement my place,” added Ali.

Ali, who has picked 12 wickets in five Tests at the batting-friendly pitch at The Oval, took a hat-trick at the venue against South Africa back in 2017.

He says although he isn’t expecting a hat-trick, he hopes the surface will aid spin bowling.

“No, I am not expecting a hat-trick. But probably it will spin towards the end of the game. It looks a bit green than it is normally here. It is a good wicket for batting and bowling and towards the end for spinners,” Ali said further.



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