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Moeen is thrust into limelight with Lions
IT’S been quite a season for Moeen Ali as his trail-blazing form for Worcestershire has seen him earn an England Lions recall.
A career-best innings of 250 in the eight-wicket demolition of Glamorgan has been the highlight of his 971 LV= County Championship Division Two runs that have come at an average a fraction under 70.
He was the third man in the country to reach 1,000 first-class runs this term, while he became the first player anywhere in the world to make more than 70 and take five wickets in a t20 match.
That superb performance against high-flying Northants saw him smash 72 runs — including 40 off his last 11 balls — before taking 5-32 to almost single-handedly win the game for his side.
However, behind these impressive statistics — and arguably an even more impressive beard — lies a man who prefers to shy away from the limelight.
While Moeen is delighted to be back on the England selectors’ radar, he insists he will simply be looking to keep his head down and pile up the runs.
The 26-year-old left-hander has been named in the Lions side to face Australia at Wantage Road, Northampton, tomorrow and he hopes that could lead to a winter with the England Performance Programme.
“I’m delighted with the Lions call-up and it is a good opportunity to find some form,” he said.
“I’m happy with the way I have been batting this season, but in the last couple of one-day games I only got 20s, which isn’t ideal. I was glad to get to 1,000 runs quite early in the season, but to be honest I didn’t really know too much about it and I was just happy to get there.
“However, I am delighted with the call-up and looking forward to the game. I’m not sure what kind of side the Australians will be putting out, but they are a good team and I’ve played against them once this year already when they came to New Road for a warm-up match.
“Obviously, I have already faced a few of their bowlers when they came to Worcester, so I have had the chance to have a bit of a look at them.”
Moeen added: “There is an option of a full winter away with the England development squad and I’ve done well over the last few months for Worcester, so hopefully I can do that.
“The full England side is not something I think about too much at the moment.
“Hopefully, if I keep doing well, then there’s a chance one day, but I am just focusing on doing well for Worcester at the moment.”
While Moeen has caught the eye with his batting exploits this season, he has also been a useful contributor with the ball in all formats for the County.
Moeen said: “I’ve been delighted with my bowling too, especially in the one-day stuff.
“I think I’ve bowled quite well all year — in four-day cricket I have been used more to contain batsmen, which can be difficult, but overall I am happy with my batting and bowling.
“I see myself as more of an all-rounder these days.
“Obviously, it’s more my batting, but my bowling is a bit better than a part-timer nowadays.
“If I can improve on that, then I could turn into a good all-rounder.”
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