London: England off-spinner Moeen Ali is keen to follow the work ethics of Indian skipper Virat Kohli. The soft-spoken all-rounder is content with what he has achieved, yet he still hopes to improve further.
“When Kohli scores a hundred, I doubt he is satisfied with it,” he said. “I believe he is always thinking about when he would get his next one. That’s the key thing ... he is never complacent. He is motivated, and that motivation I am yet to see in anyone else. He is different.”
Ali was candid when he spoke about his bowling. “I always try to bowl tight,” he said. “There is only this much one can do unless it is spinning a huge amount. I try to bowl tight, build pressure and then get wickets. As a finger spinner, you don’t have that mystery. But that one extra fielder (inside) makes a bit of a difference. It’s not like we can bowl a googly or anything like that, but we need to control the middle overs. And so if it is a spinning wicket like it was today, one can look for wickets.”
Ali admitted that it was tough for him to master the carom-ball deliveries like other spinners. “I have been tempted to master that delivery but I don’t have the kind of patience to stick with it,” he said. “Yet I have been practising for a while. While in India for the IPL, I bowled two in the nets, but they were pathetic. Since boundaries are small here and the wickets are good, batsmen don’t care what comes their way. They use their strength and hit the ball hard.”
So does it mean life could get tougher for the spinners in limited overs cricket in the future? “I think spinners are going to be huge,” said Moeen. “You saw Imran (Tahir) bowling really well today. There was spin as well for (Adil) Rashid, and there’s always going to be a chance for getting wickets, especially if it spins like it did today.”
The off-spinner revealed that he enjoys bowling with Rashid. “Both Rashid and Liam Plunkett get wickets in the middle, and when I am bowling with them, I try to bowl tight and build up the pressure so they can then pick up the wickets.”