‘Can't rely on him all the time’ - Moeen Ali opens up on England's over-reliance on Ben Stokes
"We can't rely on him all the time. We do have dangerous players who we just need to come to the party as well as Ben," Moeen Ali said.
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The Ashes 2023 has gotten off to the worst of starts for hosts England as they have lost the first two Tests of the marquee series. England batters have failed to put enough runs on the board and the bowlers put in a lackluster effort at times as well.
However, one consistent performer for England has been their captain Ben Stokes. The star all-rounder dug his team out of danger for a while and even scored a brilliant 155 in an attempt to chase 371 in the second Test at Lord's. However, the lack of effort from the rest of the batters resulted in the hosts losing by 43 runs to go 0-2 down after they lost the first Test at Edbaston by two wickets.
In the third Test at Headingley, Stokes once again played a brilliant knock of 80 runs to keep his side in the game after England bowlers dismissed Australia for 263 in the first innings. Despite Stokes' effort, England fell 26 runs short of Australia's tally. Meanwhile, after the end of Day 2, veteran all-rounder Moeen Ali reflected on England’s overreliance on Ben Stokes.
"Ben's a brilliant player. Whether it's white-ball or red-ball cricket, as long as he's there you've always got a great chance of winning. He loves those situations, he thrives off them," Ali told BBC’s Test Match Special. "We can't rely on him all the time. We do have dangerous players who we just need to come to the party as well as Ben."
Australia aim to notch up big target
The third Test of the Ashes 2023 can tip in any favour at the end of Day 2. Australia will look for better performances by their middle-order batters. England did well to limit the visitor’s top order, as David Warner was sent packing for just one run, while Steve Smith could only two. Usman Khawaja (43) and Marnus Labuschagne (33) got starts but were unable to convert those. By the end of Day 2, Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh stood at the crease unbeaten at 18 and 17 runs, respectively. They would be keen on notching up a big total on the board for England to chase.