Moeen Ali has silenced those doubting his ability to bowl match-winning spells with his off-spin, according to former left-arm spinner Phil Tufnell.
Tufnell is backing the Worcestershire all-rounder to do his bit bowling in the middle overs to help England win this summer’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
Tufnell, who played 42 Tests for England, and took 121 wickets, sees Ali as a far-improved bowler from when he appeared in the 2015 edition of the tournament, where he took just four wickets.
Tufnell also backed the all-rounder to produce at least one potentially match-winning innings during the tournament, citing his ability to score quickly, as evidenced by a career one-day strike-rate of over 100.
“Moeen Ali is a truly fantastic all-rounder,” Tufnell said. “Coming in later in the order, he would be as able as anyone to get a run-a-ball century, just as much as any of the lads at the top of the order.
“He gives us fantastic depth and bowls his off-spin very, very nicely. I see him as a lot more than a part-time bowler, he has got rid of that tag now. Ali is a genuine off-spin bowler for England now, and bowls it really well, so he is going to have a big role to play in those middle overs.”
Tufnell was speaking at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour, driven by Nissan, at Heathrow airport. He was joined by ICC Women’s World Cup winner Isa Guha, and the two appeared to be giving away tickets to England v Australia on 25 June to a lucky competition winner – Jodie Turner, from Coventry.
She was chosen from hundreds of fans who were given a chance to pose with a giant replica of the trophy, which will be at Terminal 3 throughout the tournament, as well as the real thing, which taken to the airport as part of the trophy tour.
Tufnell believed England have a great chance to lift the trophy and said the tags of favourites and hosts will have no negative effects on Eoin Morgan’s men, who begin their campaign against South Africa at The Oval on Thursday, 30 May.
“People have been talking about the pressure of playing at home, but I see it as a good thing,” he said. “The guys will feel at home with the conditions and pitches, having played at all these grounds before. And this time, they will be cheered on by that home crowd.
“The best players in the world are here, and there is going to be some truly fantastic cricket. I think we are going to win it, but of course I am going to say that!”
Courtesy : ICC