By our correspondent
KARACHI: England’s all-rounder Moeen Ali, who will skipper England in the series against Pakistan in place of injured Jos Buttler, on Sunday said that the series between the two nations will be very “close and tight”.
Moeen said that along with spinners, fast bowling also will have a key role in the series.
“It will depend on the wicket. I don’t think it will be the spinners only. Spinners play big part obviously but generally both teams play spin quite well. Pakistan have some very good spinners. Obviously Nawaz and Shadab are fantastic all-rounders. I think the game will be played with fast bowlers which will be very important. Pakistan have produced amazing fast bowlers. I think it will be a very good series,” said Moeen.
Despite injuries to his key players, Moeen said that his team is still a good one and he does not rate it as a second-string side.
“No, I think the only person who is not here is Ben Stokes from the guys who could be here. Bairstow is injured, Jason Roy has been dropped, Archer is injured and Chris Woakes is injured. I think we still have a very good side and I don’t see at all that it’s a second-string team,” Moeen said.
“Buttler is injured and he is a man who is our captain. It’s not through selection, it’s more through unfortunate injuries and some bad fortunes this summer,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for other players. We always have new players coming into the squad because the cycle has changed.
The team, which we have brought here, is, I think, a very good white-ball team. There are some fantastic players like Will Jacks and Harry Brook who has also done well in the PSL. These guys are very good players,” Moeen said.
“Woakes and Wood have been injured for most of the summer and they have not really played much. They are just going to take their time and there is no rush. They are the big players for us. It will be seen how the games go on and we will see who can play and who cannot,” said the skipper.
Moeen said that they will make their plans after having a good look at the pitch. “I have not seen the pitch but I have spoken to players who have played PSL in the last few years or so and everyone spoke about the wickets. In Karachi the condition is very humid at the moment. We will see the wicket today and tomorrow and will make our plans,” Moeen said.
Moeen said that it’s a great privilege that he will lead England where he has his family roots. “Hundred percent. My roots are here in Pakistan and I am to lead England and in such an historic series. It’s a huge and proud moment for me and my family. My family is very happy and so are my friends and my community. Everybody is very happy for me. Captaining England anywhere in the world is a huge honour,” he said.
Moeen is not sure how many matches Buttler may play in the series. “I am not sure. His calf had injured in the summer. He is just a bit more careful. Maybe in the back end of the tour he may play one or two games,” Moeen said. “Obviously the World Cup in Australia is huge for us and we want him fully fit for the whole competition and he will decide whether he can play, maybe last one or two games,” Moeen said.