Lahore, Oct 3 (IANS) Stand-in England captain Moeen Ali feels other teams will fear facing his side at the upcoming T20 World Cup, starting in Australia later in the month after the 4-3 series win over Pakistan on Sunday. After being inserted into batting first, England amassed a massive 209/3 and then restricted Pakistan to 142/8 to win the series decider.
“We’re really happy to win this series and we go to Australia in a really good position, but I don’t think we’re favourites for the World Cup. If I’m honest I don’t feel that way at all, but I know we are a very dangerous team to play and other teams will fear playing us. But I still think Australia and India are the two favourites,” said Moeen after the match ended.
Pakistan were in the lead with 3-2 at the end of fifth T20I. But England made a great comeback from behind to win the last two matches and eventually, the series. “We were disappointed in the end, because looking back I think if we’d been really on it we’d probably have won (the series) 6-1. But we are in a really good position. We had two must-win games and the way we have come back to win so comfortably was amazing to see,” added Moeen.
Moeen went on to talk highly of his side’s depth in the squad, who stood up to the occasion in absence of players like Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone and Ben Stokes in the playing eleven.
“We have players to come in who can make a difference but this shows the depth we have in our squad as well. The batters put on a really good score.”
“You could easily lose confidence with the bat after the two games when we didn’t chase totals down but credit to the boys for the way they played. Our bowling was outstanding again. Throughout the series I think we bowled really well.”
England’s young batter Harry Brook was the leading-run scorer in the series with 238 runs at an average of 79.33 and was adjudged ‘Player of the Series’. “I have just tried to hit the ball straight and play the ball on its merit. I look to hit straight first but if there is a gap then I will try and manipulate the field.”
“We’ll see if I play when we get to the T20 World Cup but all the lads are looking forward to getting out there and getting going,” said Brook.
In the series decider, left-hander Dawid Malan slammed 78 not out off 47 balls to set the base for England’s win at Lahore on Sunday and was named ‘Player of the Match’.
“We saw this as a final so to be able to do it under pressure and put on a big score like that was fantastic for us as a batting unit. Our bowlers learnt from the lessons – bowling into the wicket, changing pace – and did fantastically well to defend our total,” said Malan.
England will now travel to Australia to prepare for the T20 World Cup, with three T20s against hosts Australia on October 9, 12 and 14. It will be followed by a warm-up match against Pakistan on October 17 before starting their Super 12 campaign against Afghanistan in Perth on October 22.