Moeen admits England wake-up call

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Opener Moeen Ali has admitted that England were given a wake-up call by Australia following their heavy 111-run defeat to start the World Cup.

England were handed a powerful illustration of what it will take to be successful at the tournament and their task hardly gets any easier with in-form New Zealand next up in Wellington on Friday.

Asked if the result at the MCG had jolted his side, Moeen said: “Yeah. Australia have set the standard and New Zealand is going to be just as hard we feel.

“We’re going to have to up our skill level and up our game against New Zealand.

“It shows just how tough international cricket is and in a major tournament we are going to have to be ready.”

England will still back themselves to emerge from Pool A after the young team, which had seven World Cup debutants at the MCG, reached the final of the tri-series to start the tour.

Twice they comfortably beat world champions India, but finding a recipe for overcoming Australia remains evasive.

It is a problem that they can at least shelve for the time being – they can now not face Australia until at least the semi-finals – and with five group games to come Moeen said his team-mates were focused on the task ahead.

“The World Cup is not decided over one game,” he added.

“It is a long period of time. There’s a long way to go.

“That was probably the worst we’ve played in Australia throughout the trip so far.

“It’s good to get that game out the way now even though it was a bad result for us. We just look forward now to Friday.”

After being given a day off following their arrival in Wellington the players returned to training at the Basin Reserve on Tuesday.

The session began with a stern-faced Moores sitting the players down in a group on the outfield and speaking for almost 15 minutes.

His young team will have to upset the odds if they are to kick-start their World Cup campaign with victory against a New Zealand side that have won 10 of their past 12 one-day internationals.

Black Caps all-rounder Corey Anderson recently described their run as a “juggernaut” and they confirmed their growing confidence by getting past Scotland on Tuesday.

England’s record in Wellington is not good either – their only ODI success in the New Zealand capital came in 1984 – while they have lost both of their matches at Friday’s venue the Westpac Stadium.

For Moeen, who is in New Zealand for the first time, that only serves as the perfect opportunity to prove England should not be discounted so early in the tournament.

“It’s a very tough start,” said Ali. “We play two of the best sides – they are two tough games up front.

“But if we can win on Friday it puts us in a great position I feel. It will show everybody that we are a good, serious side.”

Moeen admits England will have to be at the top of their game to spring a surprise, especially in the death overs.

England conceded their highest-ever World Cup score in their opener against Australia – 342 for nine – after they leaked 105 runs in the final 10 overs and New Zealand boast big hitters at the end such as Anderson and Luke Ronchi.

“Most teams have guys now who can smash the ball towards the end,” he said.

“New Zealand have power throughout the batting line-up from the top all the way down.

“We’ve going to have to be on our A-game especially in the last 10-15 overs when New Zealand are very, very dangerous.”

Meanwhile, Eoin Morgan will be unavailable to skipper England in their one-day international against Ireland on May 8 after he was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League auction.

Morgan confirmed last month that he had entered the auction after the England and Wales Cricket Board relaxed rules to allow its contracted players to be available for the whole competition.

It was hoped that might prompt more England players to be purchased by Indian franchises, although the only ECB contracted players to be picked up were Morgan and Ravi Bopara. Alex Hales, who is ranked third on the ICC’s Twenty20 batting ratings, was unsold.

Morgan and Bopara will join Kevin Pietersen at Hyderabad and will, therefore, both miss the one-off game in Dublin.

The IPL begins on April 8 and runs through until May 24. Those dates also clash with England’s Test tour of West Indies, although Morgan said after entering the auction that his hopes of a recall to England’s five-day side had been “scaled down”.

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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