Ali the key as England hold slim advantage after day two of Ashes

England’s Moeen Ali believes Australia are falling into the same trap as India by under-estimating his bowling.

He man made his name as a batsman but owes his Test career to his developing off-spin.

England’s lack of specialist slow bowlers to take up Graeme Swann’s mantle, and

Moeen’s attractive all-round qualities, mean he is currently being pressed into service as a senior spinner on the international stage — a role he does not regularly perform at county level.

But just as he did in a revelatory series against India last summer, tweaking

England to victory with 19 wickets, Moeen struck gold on day two of the Ashes opener in Cardiff.

He dismissed the world’s number one batsman Steve Smith and captain Michael Clarke as Australia reached stumps 166 behind on 264 for five.

Asked if he was still be under-rated by batsmen, Moeen said: “One hundred percent, I think so.

“Both of us spinners will probably get attacked quite a bit, but we always have a chance of getting wickets... it’s the nature of the opposition coming at us.

“I’m pretty happy with that. It brings me into the game a bit more.

“I think we all know that sometimes I’ll get wickets, and sometimes go for runs.

“They were two big wickets today, in the context of the game, two very goodplayers.”

Smith in particular is a prize scalp.

He has been irresistible in the past 18 months and has a reputation as a fineplayer of spin.

But Moeen got his man on this occasion, drawing Smith down the crease and cramping him for room to execute an ugly dismissal the Australian will not wish to see again.

“He kept using his feet at me, and I almost went a little bit one-day mode -trying to bowl it at his hip, or fire it down the leg-side, and he got himself into a bit of a mess really,” Moeen said.

“He’s obviously a very good player of spin, very aggressive.

He can take you

down, but he can also give you a chance. I’m always telling myself I’m one ball away from getting a wicket.”


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