Moeen Ali ‘always ready’ to captain England as he stands in for Morgan | England in West Indies 2022

Moeen Ali has insisted that he has “always been ready to captain teams” as he prepares to fill in for the injured Eoin Morgan in the decisive final games of England’s Twenty20 series in West Indies this weekend.

As the team’s designated vice-captain, Moeen led the team in Wednesday’s narrow, high-scoring defeat after Morgan injured his right quad in the warm-up, his second international match as captain and first for 18 months.

“For me personally it’s about trying to stay in the game, knowing the situation, trying to understand what the opposition’s strengths are, where they are looking to hit, what they are trying to do and then counter that,” said the 34-year-old. “I’m not sure that too many all-rounders captain in T20 cricket, but I feel like I’ve always been ready to captain teams. Wednesday happened just before the toss, there were five changes and it just felt there was a lot going on. I didn’t feel like I had time to prepare and think about it too much, which sometimes can help. Hopefully going forward it’ll be a little bit easier and calmer.”

Moeen only bowled a single over on Wednesday as West Indies took a 2-1 lead in the five-game series, with Adil Rashid England’s most economical bowler with one for 25 from his four overs.

“I think the other day showed the difference between him [Rashid] and everybody else in that side,” Moeen said. “Obviously George Garton was making his debut and other guys are still early in their careers, but he showed his class and amazing control. It’s not always about taking wickets – when everybody else seems not to be able to bowl very well, he seems to bowl fantastically well.”

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Though Reece Topley again impressed, England’s other bowlers all took some punishment. “It’s difficult because West Indies do hit it so far, so well and clean,” Moeen said.

“Even though bowlers have the hardest job in Twenty20 cricket, death bowling in particular, we’ve had this issue for a while. We need to change the mindset of the bowlers and the perception people have of us as a death-bowling team. We’re working hard to do that. You’re going to get hit but I think there needs to be a bit more of a plan A, plan B, plan C, so you’ve got places to go if things are not going well.”

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