Making a comeback in a decisive match against India, England allrounder Moeen Ali picked up nine wickets and earned the man of the match award.
During the post-match ceremony, Moeen credited his mentor Saqlain Mushtaq for helping him in the training. He attributed his tremendous performance to the Pakistani legend.
When asked about the improvement in his bowling, Moeen said, “I’ve backed myself for a while, took a lot of confidence from bowling in county cricket, working with Saqlain.”
In return, the 41-year-old coach, who picked 208 wickets for Pakistan in Tests, praised Moeen for his terrific bowling. “Many congratulations to everyone at England Cricket. Very Proud of you all the way you played. Moeen Ali extremely happy with your performance. Once you believe it you can achieve it,” he tweeted.
Many congratulations to everyone at @englandcricket Very Proud of you all the way you played. Moeen Ali extremely happy with your performance🏏 #Once you believe it you can achieve it 💪🏻🏴 pic.twitter.com/Ay2gR41V5b
— Saqlain Mushtaq (@Saqlain_Mushtaq) September 2, 2018
In August last year, Moeen had paid a tribute to the ‘amazing’ Saqlain for his role in helping him enjoy a record-breaking Test series against South Africa.
“‘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 Moeen, crediting Saqlain for his advice after claiming 25 wickets in the four-match series.
The off-spinner bowled England to a series-clinching 60-run win in the fourth Test against India at Southampton on Sunday.
Victory, achieved with more than a day to spare, left England an unassailable 3-1 up in the five-match series against India, the world’s number one ranked Test side, ahead of Friday’s finale at The Oval.
India, set 245 to win, were dismissed for 184 with recalled off-spinner Moeen taking four for 71 in 26 overs on a wearing pitch, including the key wicket of star batsman Virat Kohli (58).
That gave Moeen a match return of nine for 134 following his first-innings five for 63.
Unsurprisingly Moeen, who also made 40 in England’s first-innings 246, was named man-of-the-match.
It was another star turn at Hampshire’s headquarters from Moeen, who took six for 67 when England beat India by 266 runs in the corresponding Test at Southampton four years ago.
“Sometimes you can play so much that I felt it was not a bad thing to go back to county cricket,” said Moeen, playing his first Test of the season after being dropped by England following a difficult tour of Australia and New Zealand.
“When I was watching the guys at home I knew I really missed it.”