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Moeen Ali credits ‘amazing’ Saqlain Mushtaq for his recent success

"Saqqy has been amazing for me in terms of helping with my fields." - Moeen Ali.

Moeen Ali
England player Moeen Ali celebrates the dismissal of South Africa’s batsman Duanne Olivier. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

30-year old England all-rounder Moeen Ali did some serious demolishing act against the South African unit during the Test series, which concluded recently. Ali has credited the England spin-bowling coach Saqlain Mushtaq for his record-breaking season.

He became the first man in the history to score 250 runs and scalp 25 wickets in a four-Test series, that saw England beat the Proteas 3-1. He doesn’t consider himself as an out and out spin bowler, with the likes of Liam Dawson present in the squad.

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“Saqqy has been amazing for me in terms of helping with my fields, helping me understand my bowling a lot more than I had done previously, and I think that has been the biggest difference,” said Ali after guiding England to a 177-run win in the fourth Test at Old Trafford with more than a day to spare on Monday.

“Little things like that can make a big difference,” said Ali, who ended the match with two wickets in two balls for an innings return of five for 69 after finishing England’s victory in the third Test at The Oval with a historic hat-trick. Ali holds the 4th rank in the ICC Test all-rounder’s rankings. He scored a valuable unbeaten 75 in the 2nd Test match.

“Before, I just bowled, (and) didn’t really think too much,” added Ali, who started the series with a 10-wicket haul in England’s first Test win at Lord’s. “I let the captain set the field. I would say I set the field a lot more throughout this series.”

England captain Joe Root, who achieved his maiden series win as the captain had words of praise for the all-rounder.  He was delighted at the way Ali responded to the challenge and the manner in which he has improved his game. “He is definitely improving all the time,” said Root.”I hope it’s not just a one-off series, and he can go on now and do it again and again.”

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