Pakistan News

Ali eyes Lyth’s opening spot

Ali eyes Lyth’s opening spot

LONDON: All-rounder Moeen Ali has declared his readiness to open the batting for England even though he is well aware of the consequences for Adam Lyth’s Test career.

Off-spinning all-rounder Ali has never batted higher than number six for England but averages 31.20 in 16 Tests.

He has been touted as a potential opener for England’s series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates later this year on the grounds that this would allow Alastair Cook’s side to play two specialist slow bowlers on pitches known for aiding spin.

Finding a reliable partner for Cook at the top of the order has proved a tough task for England since the retirement of former captain Andrew Strauss in 2012.

Several batsmen have been tried and found wanting, with Adam Lyth the latest to be given the role.

Despite impressing for county champions Yorkshire and scoring a hundred in his second Test against New Zealand at his Headingley home ground, Lyth averaged just 12.77 after playing in all five matches of England’s 3-2 Ashes series win.

England coach Trevor Bayliss has already hinted Lyth will not be opening against Pakistan and Ali, who made his name as a top-order batsman with Worcestershire, is keen to fill the spot if a vacancy is created.

“I would love to be batting back up the order, because coming in at number eight it was already 80 for six or something like that,” Ali wrote in his England and Wales Cricket Board blog published on Wednesday.

“I certainly wouldn’t mind opening, in Tests as well as white-ball cricket — even though I’ve never done it in first-class cricket, I have in the second team as well as in one-day stuff with Worcestershire and England.” — AFP

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015

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