England’s spin coach Jeetan Patel hopes Moeen Ali’s eight-wicket match haul against India will be the “carrot” that lures him back into the Test fold on a permanent basis. Moeen opted to take time out of international cricket after being dropped from England’s Ashes side 18 months ago, but picked up four wickets in each innings during his Test comeback in Chennai.
“I love watching Mo play cricket and bowl in any form of cricket and I think he’s got a lot to offer this group, especially around the changing room,” said Patel. “I hope this is enough of a carrot for him. The one thing Mo needed out of red-ball cricket was a bit of love from the game and I think he’s got that. Hopefully, he can score some runs and really fall in love with red-ball cricket again.”
“I’m stoked for him – just gutted that he didn’t get a five-for. He probably deserved that, if not two of them. He deserved 10 in the match, I think he bowled enough good balls to get that but it didn’t quite work out for him.” he added. “But I’m sure he’ll be very pleased with that on his Test match comeback, to bowl 60 overs and contribute like he has. The one things he’s probably got left is another contribution with the bat.”
“They’re amazing deliveries – they shape away from the right-hander, they dip, hit the wicket hard and spin big, so I don’t know what more people would want. I think his rewards show that he’s close and he’s good enough.” Patel continued. “Initially Mo showed signs of nerves and maybe was a touch anxious about how it would go for him. But as the game went on, he was really positive about how he was doing his job and that’s good to see.”