Moeen Ali: A Vital Cog Who Could Have Been Much More
When you look at the international career of Moeen Ali, the feeling you get is of promise not quite fulfilled. That seems a strange thing to say about someone who came within 5 wickets of becoming only the 4th England all-rounder – after Ian Botham, Andrew Flintoff and Stuart Broad – to complete the rare double of 2000 Test runs and 200 wickets. But the feeling persisted that Ali didn’t manage to do justice to the batting talent that fetched him 5 Test hundreds, as many as Flintoff.
The fact that the last of those centuries came against India in December 2016 tells its own story. After 2017, Moeen didn’t even pass 60 runs in a Test innings. By the time he called it quits in Test cricket after a home series against India in 2021, his average had fallen from 35, excellent for an all-rounder, to 28. By then, he had batted at every position from 1 to 9, and was frequently the scapegoat when England’s inconsistent Test side did badly. By the end, Moeen just had no enthusiasm left for the 5-day game.
It was a different story in the colored uniform. Though he had barely played for a year by then, he was one of those Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss earmarked to be part of a new, attacking English ODI side after the 2015 World Cup disaster. A 57-ball 102 against the West Indies in 2017 was very much in keeping with that new template, and though he played less than half the matches as the World Cup was finally won on home soil in 2019, no one downplayed Moeen’s role in England’s ODI transformation.
He was part of the side that lost to the West Indies in the T20 World Cup final in 2016, and to New Zealand in the semi-final 5 years later, and his all-round ability had by then caught the eye of Indian T20 League franchises. The Bangalore team were the first to take a chance on him, and though it didn’t quite work out for him there, there were enough glimpses of free-stroking batting and clever bowling to get the Chennai team interested before the 2021 season. His contributions then were so weighty that he was retained ahead of the auction instead of long-term stalwarts like Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo.
With no Test cricket on his calendar any more, Moeen could yet enjoy several more years as a top white-ball all-rounder. Certainly, his performances for Chennai in the Indian T20 League will be watched with keen interest after the faith the franchise and its think-tank of MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming has shown in his talent.
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Moeen Ali’s Personal Details
- Moeen Munir Ali
- Date of Birth
- 18th June, 1987
- Birmingham, United Kingdom
- Batting Style
- Left-handed batter
- Bowling Style
- Right-arm off-break
- Playing Role
- Batting all-rounder
- Major Teams Played For
- England, Bangalore team, Chennai team
Moeen Ali’s Current Rankings
Moeen Ali Career Summary
- Bowling Average
- Bowling SR
- 155* vs. SL
- 128 vs. SCO
- 72* vs. AUS
Moeen Ali - Key Skills and Strengths
Though he first caught the selectors’ eye as an attacking batter, Moeen was first picked in the England set-up as a replacement for Graeme Swann’s off-spin. He had some superb performances with the bat in those early years, including 4 Test centuries in 2016. With the ball, he picked up 19 wickets against India at home in 2014, with his spells in Southampton crucial to a series-levelling victory. One of the few players not to be tainted by the miserable 2015 World Cup failure, Moeen became an integral part of the rebuild under Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss. His Test form suffered with him being moved up and down the order, and he retired from the format after a series against India in 2021.
Moeen Ali’s Awards and Achievements
Though Ali played only 5 of the 11 matches in the winning World Cup campaign in 2019, Moeen was very much part of the England cricket team’s transformation into a white-ball power after 2015. His greatest achievements came in the Test arena, with nearly 200 Test wickets and close to 3000 runs.
Here are some of Moeen’s biggest achievements in international cricket:
Moeen is one of only 5 players in this century to score 250 runs and take 20 wickets in a Test series.
He’s one of the select group of players in cricket history to score 1000 Test runs and take 100 wickets.
His strike-rate was less than 50 in only 3 of his 7 years in Test cricket.
Moeen Ali’s Indian T20 League Journey
Moeen was purchased by the Bangalore team in 2018, but his opportunities were limited that season as well as in 2020. He made more of an impression during the Indian T20 League in 2019, with 220 runs and 6 wickets in 11 matches.
But after the Chennai team vouched for him in 2021, Moeen showed off his quality with 357 runs and 16 wickets as the team clinched a 4th title. Such was the impact of his displays that Chennai had little hesitation in retaining him before the auction in 2022.
- Indian T20 League
- 66 vs. Kolkata
Moeen Ali: FAQs
Kabir Ali, Moeen’s cousin, played 1 Test and 14 ODIs between 2003 and 2006.
The Beard That’s Feared.
He has spoken of opening a fish-and-chip shop in Birmingham, which he would like to call “Big Mo’s.”
He was warned for wearing wristbands that had the messages “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine.”
Johnny Depp, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame.