After putting England in the driver’s seat with a defining
century on day two of the opening cricket Test against India, middle order
batsman Moeen Ali on Thursday urged the visitors to be patient when they walk
in to bowl on Friday.
Resuming the day at 311/4, England went on to make a mammoth
537 before being bowled out with three of their batsmen — Ali (117), Joe Root
(124) and Ben Stokes (128) — hitting brilliant centuries.
In reply, India reached 63/0 at stumps at the Saurashtra Cricket
Association Stadium here.
With the Indian spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra
Jadeja and Amit Mishra sharing six wickets in the first innings, Ali felt that
the pitch offered good spin for the England’s spinners in the 11 overs which
he, Zafar Ansari and Adil Rashid bowled.
Ali, who traumatised the Indians with his gentle off-break
during their 2012-13 tour, said England will need to hit the correct areas when
they come in to bowl on the third morning of the match.
“They obviously played quite well towards the end.
Thought there was good spin and nice reverse in the middle so that would be
helpful tomorrow. The slower balls spun a bit more than the rest but the build
up to that ball has to be good,” he said after the second day’s play.
“We need to bowl in the good areas and wait for the
pitch of do the rest. Need to stay patient which is something Saqlain talks
about as well,” he added.
Ali, who was unbeaten on 99 at stumps on the opening day,
went on to add another 18 runs to his name besides registering his career’s
fourth ton. The southpaw, however, conceded that he approached the knock with
the team’s cause in mind.
“Before going in to bat, I wasn’t feeling great, I was
feeling a bit lethargic. I wasn’t moving my feet too well yesterday and the
singles were there for me to take but I just played the situation,” he
“I thought of getting it (century) yesterday but was
happy to have got it today. I slept well, wasn’t too fussed and was happy to
contribute to the team’s cause. There were times I wanted to have a hack but I
have been trying to practice as much as I can.”
The 29-year-old also praised his nemesis Mohammed Shami, who
managed to break through the left-hander’s defence.
“He was bowling well and I thought I needed to see him
through. The mindset was negative probably but I find him (Shami) quite hard to
face,” he said.