Moeen Ali said England Hammer to 10 wickets against India following their 2-1 loss in the Twenty20 series last week can be good for the team in the long run, with the team learning more from defeat than from victory.
“We lost a few games which I think is good for us going forward,” Moeen said after he and his teammates were knocked out for 110 in 26 overs. “Then hopefully closer to the [T20] world Cup [in Australia in October] we start to win. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to win now. But you don’t want to win every game, in my opinion. It’s a good thing that sometimes you learn more by losing.
It proved to be a tough learning period for new England white-ball captain Jos Buttler. Following the success of his predecessor, Eoin Morgan, who won the 2019 World Cup aged 50, a level of expectation has been cultivated among England players and supporters. Moeen, however, backs Buttler to get good.
“He’ll be fine, the team will be fine, there’s no need to panic or change anything,” added the all-rounder. “We have so many senior players and we just need to become senior players in the team.
“We have dominated for a few years. We have had great success. We won a World Cup. You don’t want to peak too soon. We know there are players who need to come back and who can strengthen us.
Moeen singled out Mark Wood and said he was looking forward to the point guard’s return after recovering from an elbow injury sustained in the Caribbean in January. England’s batters may have struggled against the brilliance of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, who bagged five wickets in the first eight overs, but England’s bowlers failed to extract the same lift and sideways movement with the ball. Wood, along with Jofra Archer, would certainly elevate the bowling unit.
Moeen called for patience as Buttler and new coach Matthew Mott find their feet: “It will probably take a little while. And will probably take a few losses, which is good actually. As the new captain, no matter how cool you are, you want to play well and win [start]. But he also knows it’s a long road. He left for the long haul. Jos is a brilliant leader. It will only take him a few games.
Not that Buttler needs to implement wholesale changes or practice on a pre-existing culture. “The locker room pretty much runs on its own most of the time,” Moeen said. “So the boys know that [batting collapses] can happen the way we play. It’s just one of those days when we draw a line.
Tuesday’s game at the Oval was the first time Buttler, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Ben Stokes have all shared a pitch since the 2019 World Cup final. Buttler’s 30 points aside, the rest of the Fab Five mustered seven points between them with Roy, Root and Stokes all listed.
Their next match is Thursday’s second ODI at Lord’s. And while the quick turnaround allows players to put this latest upheaval behind them, Moeen points out that the busy schedule can affect the team’s performance.
“It’s an off day, a play day, an off day and moving between the two is difficult,” he said. “It can be difficult and would be difficult for most teams.”
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