England all-rounder Moeen Ali returned to Test cricket for Ashes 2023. He helped England win the final Test at The Oval. Moeen bowled well in Australia’s second innings, claiming 3/76 in 23 overs. After the game, he confirmed that he had played his last Test. Here are three reasons why the star all-rounder is a highly underrated bowler in Test cricket.
Moeen Ali has an impressive Test record as a bowler
Moeen Ali has been a great bowler for England. His Test record is impressive with 204 wickets in 68 Tests, including five five-fers and one 10-wicket match haul. Even though Moeen started his Test career primarily as a batter, he has grown into his role as an all-rounder.
He is third on the list of highest wicket-takers in the Test format among England spinners, behind only Derek Underwood and Graeme Swann. This is a testament to his contribution to England’s Test team. Despite his limitations, Moeen has made a significant impact with his bowling. He is a canny operator and has troubled many top-order batters with his flight and variations. He definitely deserves more credit for his Test performances with the ball than he has actually got.
Moeen Ali is a canny operator
Moeen Ali is a canny operator and has troubled many top-order batters with his flight and variations. He was the surprise package in the 2014 home series against India, where he claimed 19 wickets in eight innings. Moeen got a lot of his Test wickets by tossing the ball up and beating the batters in flight, as most renowned off-spinner would do.
He has troubled Virat Kohli a lot during the course of his career, which says a lot about his bowling ability. Moeen bowled a nicely tossed-up delivery to end Travis Head’s resistance in his farewell Test at The Oval. He deserves more credit for his Test performances with the ball than he has actually got. For someone who has delivered more than a couple of match-winning spells with the ball, the 36-year-old hasn’t been praised enough.
Moeen Ali’s unassuming nature
Moeen Ali is a humble cricketer and doesn’t celebrate his wickets like other bowlers. He just focuses on his job and tries to do what the team asked of him. Even during Ashes 2023, he didn’t overreact after a disappointing start to his campaign. He quietly slipped under the radar and performed his role. His Test retirement was also very humble, without much noise.