“We go to Australia in a really good position, but I don’t think we’re favourites for the World Cup. If I’m honest I don’t feel that way at all, but I know we are a very dangerous team to play and other teams will fear playing us” – Moeen Ali
Last Updated: 02/10/22 9:22pm
England’s Moeen Ali has said teams will fear facing England at the upcoming T20 World Cup, after their 4-3 series victory in Pakistan.
England pummelled Pakistan by 67 runs on Sunday in the series-decider after a clinical batting and bowling performance.
Matthew Mott’s side plundered 209-3 after being inserted, with Dawid Malan (78 no off 47 balls) and Yorkshire team-mate Harry Brook (46no off 29) slamming 108 from the final 61 deliveries of the innings in Lahore.
Pakistan limped to 142-8 in reply, with captain Babar Azam (4) following blemishes in the field – twice dropping catches that should have stuck – by being dismissed by Chris Woakes (3-26) in the first over of the chase and Mohammad Rizwan bowled (1) by Reece Topley in the second as the home side tumbled to 5-2.
“We’re really happy to win this series and we go to Australia in a really good position, but I don’t think we’re favourites for the World Cup” Moeen said.
“If I’m honest I don’t feel that way at all, but I know we are a very dangerous team to play and other teams will fear playing us. But I still think Australia and India are the two favourites.”
“We were disappointed in the end, because looking back I think if we’d been really on it we’d probably have won [the series] 6-1.”
Mott: Series-decider a confidence boost ahead of World Cup
England’s white-ball head coach Mott hailed his players’ efforts in clinching the series, labelling the victory as perfect preparation and a confidence boost ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.
“We certainly came over here for the seven-match series with a really clear plan to take it deep and see if we could rotate our squad through, leading obviously to a World Cup,” Mott told Sky Sports after the victory.
“I couldn’t have asked for much more to be honest, I think Moeen Ali, in particular, has captained extremely well. He’s put a lot of faith in different players, and had some debutants come in and do well.
“So from our perspective, to have pretty much a final-type atmosphere tonight and come out and play so well gives us a lot of confidence going into that World Cup.”
England next travel Down Under to prepare for the T20 World Cup, with three T20s against host nation Australia (October 9, 12 and 14) and a warm-up against Pakistan (October 17) before Jos Buttler’s side begin their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan in Perth on October 22.
When asked which players had advanced their cases, Mott name-checked Brook, Ben Duckett and Malan for credit.
“There’s been a lot [of players who have advanced their cases],” Mott added.
“Harry Brook has had some really good hit-outs and done well. He’s looked really composed out there and seems to just pick the right times to go for his boundaries.
“Duckett has been exceptional and played spin really well. He’s asked a few different questions. He sort of turned the momentum for us after the early games where spin was playing a big part of it.
“Malan today was outstanding. I thought that was a brilliant knock in a final-like atmosphere.
“And all the bowlers. We came over here with some injury clouds but we got through it.
“[Mark] Wood got through a few games, [Chris] Woakes got through a couple, so we’re building nicely with that depth we’re after for that World Cup.”
When asked for an update on the injury situation within the squad, Mott said Liam Livingstone and skipper Buttler were both on course to be fit and feature at the World Cup.
“Liam Livingstone is tracking well. He’s back in England now, left this morning, and he’ll be fine. He’s just got to get some miles in the legs and he should be right to start when we get out there.
“I think Jos has been conservative. He was chomping at the bit for a game at the back-end here, but the risk-reward wasn’t quite there. He’s going to play a pivotal role in the World Cup and Moeen has done an exceptional job with the leadership.
“We’re pretty confident where we’re at. It was a lot of moving parts for this tour, getting everyone ready, but we’ve welcomed back some world-class players and we’ll hit the shores of Australia in a couple of days.”
With so many impressive performers over the last few weeks, Mott admitted that tinkering among his starting XI was likely throughout the World Cup.
“We’ve [Buttler and Mott] looked at that first XI quite a bit, and there’s always a bit of tinkering.
“There’s form that comes into it, we’ve also got a series against Australia first and foremost. So we’ll get an opportunity to have a really good look at how that balance goes.
“I think in Australia as well, there are some different conditions out there and we might tinker slightly throughout the tournament depending on who we play.
“But we’re pretty close to that first XI and then you reassess from there.”
You can watch the T20 World Cup live in full on Sky Sports with the tournament getting under way on October 16.
Source : Sky Sports