England’s top-order batsmen need to become risk-takers, says Moeen Ali

"Aggressively is probably the only way I can play in one-day cricket"

“Aggressively is probably the only way I can play in one-day cricket”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

England opener Moeen Ali has announced that the top-order batsmen have to start taking more risks in order put the opposition on the back foot early on in the match.

Ali’s comments come after England have tasted little success when opting for a more cautious approach towards the beginning of their innings.

“If we are going to win the World Cup and be a successful one-day side we will need good starts,” Ali said. “We need guys in the top three who can set the standards for everyone else and be expansive and take some risks.

“I think it was good first time out [with Ian Bell]. I felt we complemented each other really well so it was nice.

“I wouldn’t say it’s difficult to change partners. I just go and play how I need to play on that particular day. The good thing about it is that we now have a left and right-hand combination and that can make it a little more difficult for the bowlers. Aggressively is probably the only way I can play in one-day cricket. Sometimes I face 30 balls and I feel as though I’ve faced 50 or 60. It’s the natural sort of thing I’ve done for a few years now. I feel it’s the best way for me to play, and if I’ve got any doubt I just tell myself to go hard and not go into a little shell.

“Naturally I will be aggressive but I had to take my time a little bit yesterday with it being the first game. There were expansive shots when we needed them. I will just bat how I normally do and if there’s something to hit, I’ll hit it. In Sri Lanka I got bowled first ball having a slog. It’s not nice to get out first ball but I’d prefer to get out having a go rather than just blocking it.”

Continuing on the topic of batting with Bell, Ali noted that the pair have always been a solid opening combination since he can be aggressor, while Bell can keep the scoreboard ticking with singles, doubles and regular boundaries.

“I’ve batted with Belly quite a bit,” Ali said. “When I first started at Warwickshire, he was there and I enjoy batting with him. He’s quite busy, he’s very good at getting singles as well as the boundary shots and is a classy player, so I really enjoy batting with him and hopefully we will be a good combination together.

“I think our styles complement each other. It’s a bit early to say. We’ve both got to bat our way. If he gets a hundred-ball hundred, that for him is the way to go. He should just bat the way he does and not worry about being too aggressive and hopefully I can take a bit of pressure off him at the other end and make it easier for him.”

Ali also noted that he has been honing his skills as a spinner since he knows that James Tredwell is the only other person England can rely on when it comes to that department.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to bowl on pitches that spin a lot because your line changes,” he said. “Against top-quality players I feel you have to try to hit the stumps as quickly as you can, so it’s sometimes easier when there’s not a lot of spin. That’s how I feel anyway. But it will be tough because Australians play spin very well and are very aggressive against spin.

“I’m going to prepare like I’ve got a big role to play with the ball. There will be times when perhaps I won’t bowl as much as Treddy and vice-versa, but I will definitely prepare like I’ve got a big role to play.”

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