Moeen Ali: My batting form is a worry going into the Ashes 2019

Moeen Ali has averaged only 16 with the bat in the last 16 Tests, and admits that his confidence is at its "lowest".
Moeen Ali: My batting form is a worry going into the Ashes 2019Moeen Ali: My batting form is a worry going into the Ashes 2019
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Moeen Ali has admitted that his batting form in Test cricket is a worry going into the Ashes, but hoped that he could play with freedom. Ali stated that his primary role is to pick wickets, and hopes that he can be a game-changer with the ball against the Aussies. 

Ali has played 59 Tests and averages 30 with the bat. He has five hundreds and 14 fifties to his name. However, he averages only 16 with the bat in the last 16 games, with two fifties. 

"As an all-rounder I can affect every innings of the game but in all honesty, I know my batting has been a problem of late. Given I’ll probably be coming in at No 8, my primary role is with the ball and since returning to the side last summer against India my record has been strong in this department," he wrote in the Guardian.

"I have accepted this for a while, the ball has been coming out nicely and in Test cricket, the wickets have followed. But I would be lying if I thought the attention was on this, because even though I am not on social media these days, I am aware of the criticism of my batting in recent times."

He went on to add that his confidence with the bat was at its "lowest", and admitted that criticism had affected him. He also stated that not having a regular batting position added to his woes. 

"I have always been a player whose form goes up and down but at the moment I feel my batting confidence is at its lowest. Negative comments can affect you and they probably have. I know I play some horrendous shots at times but, when I do, I feel I attract more stick for it than others," he wrote.

"I have batted everywhere in the England team and it has probably caught up with me. It’s not easy for a player who considers him or herself to be a proper batter to then adjust down the order. Put anyone there and the scores won’t necessarily come. You can lose a bit of love for it, too."

He wrote that he turned to his "trusted advisers" after the Ireland Test, where he scored 0 and 9. 

"After the Ireland Test I decided to consult some of my most trusted advisers: my dad, Munir, my brother, Kadeer, and Paul Farbrace, who was the England assistant coach up until recently. I have had a little reset and the plan is to go out there and simply enjoy my batting again – to not get consumed by negative thoughts and try to play with more freedom than I have," he said.

"The fact is, my bowling is why I am in the Test team right now and on form, rightly so. Runs are important, don’t get me wrong, but it will be wickets that I will be judged on."

 

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