All-rounder Moeen Ali is not fazed by not being the frontline spinner as England prepare for a challenging Test series against the West Indies in the Caribbean.
Left-armer Jack Leach or leg-spinner Adil Rashid will likely be the first-choice slow bowler for this week’s series opener at the Kensington Oval, leaving Ali to play a secondary role.
‘I’m not too fussed about being the second spinner anymore. Maybe before I was, but now I just try and focus on myself, and if someone else plays I try to help them out as much as I can. I’d be fine with playing as the only spinner,’ said Ali.
‘When you hear about the records and the people you’ve passed it gives you confidence. I’ve passed some really good spinners for England. Thinking better of myself might improve me. I’ve got to do that rather than almost hide behind saying I’m a second spinner. I’ve got to face it and deal with it.
‘I feel like I’m at the best age now. I’m 31 and I’ve played quite a bit for England. I feel I am getting, as a spinner, towards my best. I feel like I’m genuinely getting better.’
The talented left-hander, too, is comfortable being deployed up and down England’s batting order. He has arrived at the crease as low as nine and high as three in the past – and has been used as an opener on occasion.
‘At this particular moment in my career, I don’t have the patience I used to. I did try to bat a long time and it doesn’t mean I can’t do it. But now I think I’m of more use to the side coming in down the order and having more responsibility as a spinner,’ he added.