England vs India ODI: Moeen Ali tells England to be brave and take risks



The last one-day international of the season here in Leeds on Friday may mark the closure of another era in English cricket. Eras have been ending lately as routinely as episodes of The Archers.

A new, attacking, gung-ho style may be adopted in which power is all, Alastair Cook might step down as captain to concentrate, as implored by his so-called friend Graeme Swann, on the recapture of the Ashes. On the other hand, Cook may continue to lead and England may stick steadfastly to their strategy, praying to the gods of cricket for a favour (oh, and while they are about it, the Ashes).

In most ways, the fifth match of this series against India, which was thankfully already sold out, will have scant effect. A loss for England, which seems unavoidable given recent evidence, will hardly reduce the clarion calls. A win will do something for the feel-good factor but will not alter the fact that England have been completely outclassed. Cook and the tactics will stay.

Moeen Ali, one of the few successes for England in his only match so far, put it all down to loss of form. Since he is at the start of his international career he was hardly about to call the coaching staff a bunch of drongos, but Moeen did offer some advice for his colleagues, buttressed by his 67 from 50 balls in the embarrassing nine-wicket defeat at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

“It’s definitely being out of form, maybe the guys lack a little bit of confidence,” he said. “The plans are right, it’s all good, if we can execute as a team then we will definitely challenge India but at the minute with bat and ball we’re not doing it.”

But Moeen was savvy enough to recognise that England could and should learn from the fearless way India and all the other leading sides go about their one-day cricket. None waste much time in reconnaissance.

Moeen said: “We can learn a lot. Sitting on the sidelines for the first two games, watching the way Indians bat, you can learn a lot from the way they approach it, with no fear and just backing themselves. If there is a risk, they just take it. Sometimes it doesn’t come off but as a team if we can all do that and execute the plan then we will be fine.

“Watching someone like Suresh Raina in the first game, they were in trouble and he came out and played the way he played. He took a few risks and they came off. He backed himself. I tried to copy it a  little a bit and played the way I play.”

Cook is undeniably under pressure again. He is a batsman scoring too few runs in charge of a team winning too few matches, which is a pretty poisonous combination. Outside the unlikely event that he or the selectors decide his course is run after this match, he will definitely take England to the World Cup next year.

Changing after the seven-match series in Sri Lanka in November and December, with only a brief triangular series in Australia to follow before the tournament, would be unthinkable. Moeen insisted there were no doubts about Cook.

“He is the captain and as a professional cricketer we all know that form does have a dip,” he said. “He has been the same since day one. I have never met a more mentally strong person than Alastair and to go through what he is doing and still be the same day in day out. I can imagine that it is very tough but I know he will come good.”

Ian Bell’s absence with a toe injury perhaps simplifies England’s selection of batsmen but does nothing to ease the general mess. Only around 320 runs will do that.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style