Moeen Ali calls for change in ‘mentality’ after England collapse against India

India's Ishant Sharma (left) celebrates the wicket of England's Moeen Ali. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 08 September 2018

Moeen Ali calls for change in ‘mentality’ after England collapse against India

LONDON: Moeen Ali said England’s batsmen need to “change our mentality” after yet another collapse against India but remains positive about the future despite the impending retirement of opening linchpin Alastair Cook.
England’s top order has repeatedly failed to fire during the five-match Test series against India, failing to reach 400 once, and their batsmen again let them down on the first day of the fifth Test at the Oval on Friday.
The home side — with former captain Cook playing his final match — were cruising at one stage on 133 for one, with Cook and Ali at the crease.
But a flurry of wickets in the final session left them struggling at 198-7 at the close after a low-scoring day.
Moeen, who scored a watchful 50 in 170 balls before he was caught behind off the bowling of Ishant Sharma, admitted that England had issues to sort out beyond replacing Cook.
“There are obviously players who are going to come in or there’s a player that’s going to come in and try and replace Cooky, which will be very, very difficult,” he said.
“We do have these collapses but everyone that gets out is a fantastic player and we all know that they all justify being in the side. It is difficult. These things happen. It’s not just us guys, it happens around the world.”
Moeen, batting at number three after a career spent shuffling around the order, said India had bowled “fantastically well” in the series, which had made life difficult for the batsmen.
But he said he remained upbeat despite England’s batting woes.
“I’m always confident,” he said. “There’s always good players, maybe some players that you don’t know of at the moment that will turn up.
“I think there’s some very good players in county cricket who have got the ability to play but obviously we don’t want these collapses all the time and I know they’re happening but hopefully we just need to change our mentality a little bit I think.”
The all-rounder said he thought Cook, who was dismissed for 71, had been destined to make a hundred in his final Test.
“Definitely, especially when he got dropped,” he said. “I said ‘this is meant to be for you’ but unfortunately he didn’t.”
India’s Ravindra Jadeja praised the tourists’ bowlers, saying England panicked.
“Everyone bowled well,” he said. “Especially when the partnership between Moeen Ali and Alastair Cook was on, our plan was to stop the boundaries.
“Our plan was that if they didn’t get boundaries, they’d panic and play wrong shots and get out. And that’s exactly what happened.
“From there we got six wickets for 50 or so. As a bowling department, that is our idea — not to concede runs. If there’s a partnership, we will bowl in good areas. In England, if one wicket falls, you get two or three in a cluster. And that’s what happened.”
England have already won the five-match series after taking an unassailable 3-1 lead.


Manchester United and City seek derby delight

Updated 06 December 2019

Manchester United and City seek derby delight

  • Liverpool travel to Bournemouth aiming to surge further clear at the top of the points chart

LONDON: Both sides of the Manchester divide will be hoping some derby delight can add impetus to disappointing seasons when City host United on Saturday, while Liverpool travel to Bournemouth aiming to surge further clear at the top of the Premier League.

Manchester United got a badly needed win for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Wednesday, inflicting a first defeat on Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho as the Portuguese returned to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils were again reliant on Marcus Rashford goals as the England forward struck twice to take his tally to 12 in 13 games for club and country.

“He was strong, direct, taking people on, inside and outside with no fear,” said Solskjaer. “That’s what we want — we want to see boys enjoying themselves.”

There has been precious little for United fans to enjoy this season, but just a fifth Premier League victory in 15 games was enough to lift them up to sixth.

That is still 11 points adrift of third-placed City, despite their own struggles at times.

Pep Guardiola’s men looked more like their old selves in thrashing Burnley 4-1 on Tuesday with Gabriel Jesus stepping up in the absence of the injured Sergio Aguero to score twice.

City have lost just one of six league meetings with United since Guardiola took charge three years ago and cannot afford to slip up if they are to maintain any aspirations of catching Liverpool in the title race. The English champions could kick off at the Etihad 14 points behind the leaders, should Jurgen Klopp’s men continue their scintillating form at Bournemouth earlier on Saturday.

“For the distance we are behind Liverpool it would be crazy to think about the title, we have to think about the derby,” said Guardiola.

Klopp could even afford the luxury of leaving Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah on the bench for a 5-2 thrashing of Everton in the Merseyside derby in midweek.

Both are expected to return for the visit to the south coast, but Klopp may rest some of his stars who did start against Everton ahead of a huge week for the European champions.

Liverpool travel to Salzburg in the Champions League on Tuesday needing to avoid defeat if their defense of the title is not to embarrassingly end in the group stages.

Divock Origi scored twice against Everton and Xherdan Shaqiri struck on his first start of the season to prove Klopp does have the strength in depth to successfully shuffle his pack.

“It’s easy for me to tell them often, very often, how good they are but if they then don’t play it’s not too easy for them to always understand what I say,” said Klopp.

“But if they play and deliver like they did, it’s a very, very important sign for the whole squad.”

Leicester remain Liverpool’s closest challengers, eight points back in second, thanks to a run of eight straight wins in all competitions.

“The team is developing and are proving they have a winning mentality and mindset,” said Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, who has dismissed speculation linking him with the vacant managerial role at Arsenal.

Next up for the in-form Foxes is a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday.

Villa are one of a host of teams hauled back into the battle to avoid relegation by Southampton’s resurgence with Dean Smith’s men just one point above the drop zone.