The success that Moeen Ali has had as an off spinner so far in his test career, he himself would be surprised by that.
He was picked in the test team for the first time primarily for his batting. The selectors knew that he would bowl a bit of off spin and would allow the captain to rotate the pacers around him for a little while, but, that was not the reason behind his selection.
Since, he was good enough to bat at the no. 6 position, he got the nod and in his very first test series against Sri Lanka, he got a fabulous hundred.
But, ever since, the contributions with the bat have been minimal. It’s the ball with which Moeen has rocked the opposition sides.
He has won England test matches as a bowler. Yes, as a bowler.
It can’t be a fluke. Flukes do not keep happening for such a long time.
When he got wickets against India at Southampton, he was considered ‘just lucky’. But, he repeated it at Manchester and then, at Oval, thrice in a row.
Still, not many gave the credit. It’s because of the arrogance of the Indian batsmen that he’s succeeding; that’s what people felt.
But, he was at it again at Grenada against West Indies, in the second innings, complementing the quick bowlers beautifully with a lot of control and then, grabbing wickets too at the end.
Maybe, as an England supporter, you would say that he should focus more on what he has been picked for, that is the batting.
But, you can’t undermine what he has done for England over the last 12 months in the role of a spinner.
The bowling average that Moeen has got at present in test Cricket, even a specialist spinner would be proud of that.