Jos Buttler to keep opening spot for England for final T20 in South Africa

The Guardian-11 months before

Morgan was asked if the Lancashire man would be moved down the order but said: “Not for Sunday, definitely not. Jos is one of our greatest white-ball cricketers, as a batsman, never mind with the gloves. We believe him, Jason [Roy] and Jonny [Bairstow] are our top three at the moment, moving forward.”

Moeen Ali, who struck 39 off 11 balls in Friday’s victory in Durban, suggested alterations could be made to the batting order ...s preparations for the autumn’s T20 World Cup continue. “The lucky thing is that we can change it and we’d be just as strong or even stronger. Jos is brilliant at No 5 but he’s also brilliant when he opens. So sometimes when he bats at five and plays the way he does, people say he could open and bat like that and bat for longer. Jos is one of our best finishers but as a 5, 6, 7, 8 we have to get better as well. We can’t just rely on him. If he comes off at the top, we win the game in 10 overs.”

Moeen Ali Moeen struck four sixes and three fours to help England add 79 in the final four overs and five balls, after slipping to 125 for five. The spinner enjoyed his powerful hitting. “It was nice. I’ve been training quite a bit. Trying to put on a bit of muscle, not too much because I bowl, but trying to get a bit stronger. But it was more about trying to hit the ball cleanly and trying to contribute.

Mooen Ali was in fine form in the second T20 game against South Africa. Facebook Twitter Pinterest “No 7 is a very difficult spot because you come in and you’re dictated by the pace of the game and the situation. When you come off, you’ve got to make sure you come off well. I’ve always, from a young age, been able to hit sixes. It’s one of my strengths when I play well.”

England lost the opening game in East London by one run when they seemed on course while South Africa lost by two runs on Friday after also looking like a late burst would see them home. “It is a different type of pressure, chasing is always harder,” Moeen said. “It was a better wicket here. No wind really and a smaller ground. So you have to take those things into consideration.”

The challenge for England is to become champions at both white-ball formats, after last year’s 50-over success. Moeen believes that it is within the team’s capabilities. “One hundred per cent. That’s what we’re gunning for. There are players who have won the Ashes and won the 50-over World Cup and this is our target, for sure. We were so close in India and that still hurts us as a team. You look back and think we could have won that one, but hopefully we’ll win the next one.”

This will be Moeen’s last England game before the summer, as he chose not to make himself available for next month’s Tests in Sri Lanka. “I want to give myself a bit more time. I want to make sure. Test cricket is not a place for tired minds or if you’re not fully into it. It is the hardest format by a mile and I want to make sure when I come back that I’m at my best.”

England in South Africa 2019-20 The Observer Jos Buttler England cricket team Eoin Morgan Moeen Ali South Africa cricket team Cricket news Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger

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