Ashes 2015: Moeen Ali's bowling must improve if he wants to keep his Test place, says David Gower

England have the option of using leg-spinner Adil Rashid instead

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Former England captain David Gower has warned that all-rounder Moeen Ali’s spin bowling needs to improve if he is to retain the trust of the England selectors over this Ashes summer.

“What’s important to Moeen is to get his bowling right,” Gower told The Independent ahead of the first Test against Australia. “I don’t think his bowling has been anything like as effective as it was last year. In the West Indies it was disappointing, against New Zealand it was disappointing. Those are just facts.”

Moeen has still only played 11 Test matches and Gower said that the way for him to improve was to bowl more.

“Spinners always need overs under their belt, and years of experience,” he added. “They mature in time. There are technicalities and psychologies involved with spin bowling that take time to master.

“On the evidence of what we have seen this summer, he needs to improve. If England stick with him, they are keeping their fingers crossed.”



England have the option of using leg-spinner Adil Rashid instead, which Gower described as a “potentially attacking option” and a “very tempting thing to do”. But generally he is more confident about the chances of an England side who have improved in the months leading up to the Ashes summer, of which Sky Sports will show every ball live.

“England in the last six weeks have done some extraordinary things,” said Gower. “They played some enterprising stuff, various individuals have made huge strides forward – and therefore I think we are in a much better place than we might have been two or three months ago. It is likely to be closer than people think.

“If there’s one team that England always wants to beat it’s Australia. An Ashes summer is so special because as a player and as a viewer one is always aware of the history and you always remember the great players who have been part of the Ashes history,” he added.