LEEDS (Agencies): Moeen Ali says he will always cherish being part of England’s one-day revolution ahead of what could be his 100th one-day international appearance against Sri Lanka on Friday.
Moeen, 32, has played a key role in England’s rise to the top of the ODI rankings after they crashed out of the 2015 World Cup in the first round. The Eoin Morgan-led team have played an aggressive brand of cricket since then and have lived up to their pre-tournament favourites tag, with four wins from five matches so far at the World Cup.
“It obviously means a lot,” said Moeen, a left-handed batsman who bowls off-spin. “To play 100 ODI games for England is obviously a dream. It’s just being part of the team, being part of the change.
“Looking back, if I was to retire I´d always be able to say I was part of that change, the whole mindset changing and the great cricket we’ve played.” Coming in at number seven in England´s last game against Afghanistan, Moeen smashed 31 off just nine balls to give the side fresh impetus after Morgan blasted a record 17 sixes in his breathtaking 148.
Moeen, who made his ODI debut in 2014, said batting down the order was not easy but was an important role. “Seven is not an easy position in my opinion,” he said. “You´re dictated to by the pace of the game and you have to try to get quick runs which doesn´t always happen.
“Top players like Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes find it hard as well. I once heard from a great player that if you come off three times in 10 you´ve done really well but if you come off make sure it´s properly.”
The fancied sides at the World Cup are laying down a powerful marker but Moeen said there was still room for upsets. “At the moment, the top four are there for a reason, because they´re probably playing the best cricket of all of the teams and the most consistent,” he said.
England, finalists in 1979, 1987 and 1992, have never won the 50-over World Cup but Moeen said that they are hoping for glory on home turf. “As a team we know that a trophy matters for us. Hopefully this is it,” he said.