Moeen Ali England
Moeen Ali says England captains have encouraged the aggressive style of playing the game. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: England vice-captain Moeen Ali says that the dual World Cup champions will continue playing aggressive brand for the rest of their times in whiteball cricket and feels the Three Lions are in a prime position to win more trophies.

After tasting success in all three formats of the game with an aggressive approach, the England vice-captain said: “It’s easy to continue to play the aggressive form of cricket if you have the players and the mindset. We had two captains, Eoin Morgan and Jos Butler, who encouraged that style of game. Now it’s almost in everybody’s blood to play that way,” Moeen Ali told Gulf News during an exclusive chat.

Talent in abundance

“It’s not just the players in the team, players who are sitting outside and those playing in domestic cricket, everybody knows the way to play to get into the team. It takes a certain criteria, so it’s only easy if we have the players. That‘s in abundance now, so, hopefully, we play this brand of cricket for the rest of whiteball cricket.”

The aggressive brand of cricket is gaining the momentum and many other teams are trying to alter their approach after the phenomenal success England achieved after winning both the One Day International World Cup in 2019 and the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia late last year. It’s not just in white-ball cricket that the Three Lions have been unstoppable, they have been achieving great success in Tests, winning nine of the last 10 matches.

England team celebrate with the trophy after defeating Pakistan in the final of the Twenty20 World Cup in Melbourne on November 13, 2022. Image Credit: AP

Maintaining consistency is tough

Moeen Ali feels the hardest thing is to maintain that consistency and the backing of the captain and coaching staff when things don’t go your way.

“Other teams will do the same, playing the same style, but to do that consistently is the hardest thing. To have the backing from coaches and the captain is the hardest thing. You have to stick to your players. We can’t always perform playing that style, but you know you have match-winners in the team, so then it is fine,” he clarified.

The advent of many franchise leagues have ensured that the Twenty20 format has evolved and it has become popular to the extent that there is a serious talk on the existence of ODIs. The England all-rounder, who has 3,095 runs and 135 wickets in the shorter formats, says one has to be strong mentally to achieve success in Twenty20 formats.

England 50-over world cup win
England skipper Eoin Morgan holds the ICC 50-over World Cup trophy after defeating New Zealand in a thrilling final in 2019. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

“It all depends on your mindset and as a bowler you will get hit at times. You need match-winning bowlers with good skills. England players are always working on their skills, which is great as the more options we have, the better it is,” said Moeen Ali. “This team is developing faster and faster. I think we will win more trophies going forward.”

Changes required to ODIs

This year is another crucial year for England as they will be defending the 50-over World Cup. The 35-year-old veteran of many franchise leagues across the world, says ODIs have not lost their relevance and there is no threat to the format, but the rules need a relook as it is heavily loaded in favour of the batters and the two new balls used for the game, negates the advantage the bowlers could have.

“There is space for all three formats and the real threat is the rules in ODI cricket. I think that needs to change. The middle period, when there is five fielders in the ring, is generally boring. It’s difficult for bowlers and that’s the reason some of the batters are averaging 50 and 60 in ODI. They can block three balls and hit a four in the next two with the fielders up,” said the all-rounder.

“The guys are good enough to batting on better wickets with two new balls. It should change a bit. I wanted the five fielders outside the ring after the powerplays and one ball to be used so that the wear tear will make it difficult for batters to play their shots freely and will also bring the reverse swing back into play,” he added. “May be 40-cricket could be the 50-over cricket to make it more entertaining.”