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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Ali astonishes: Figure out India's batsmen against the England spinner

Ali astonishes: Figure out India's batsmen against the England spinner

August 13, 2014 08:56 IST

With a tally of 19 wickets so far, England's Moeen Ali is the second highest-wicket taker in the ongoing Test series against India, after team mate James Anderson, who has 21 dismissals to his name. Incidentally, only three spinners have taken more wickets against India outside Asia.

Rajneesh Gupta presents the statistics of three premier England spinners -- Ali, Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar -- against Indian players in recent Test series.

Moeen AliSpin has always been India’s forte, whether with bat or ball. So it comes as a big shock to see the team's current batsmen struggling against England’s part-time spinner Moeen Ali, who has run through their batting for two matches in a row.

England looked down and out after losing the second Test at Lord’s, but successive victories have put the hosts firmly on top with a 2-1 lead and one match to go.

- Kohli the walking wicket for Anderson

Credit for that goes to Ali. He started the series as a left-handed batsman who could bowl a bit of part-time off-spin. But his superb performances with the ball in the third and fourth Tests has seen him play the leading role with the ball for England.

With a tally of 19 wickets in the series so far he is the second highest-wicket taker from both sides, after team mate James Anderson, who has 21 dismissals to his name.

Incidentally, only three spinners have taken more wickets against India outside Asia.

What is surprising is that India’s approach against Ali was pretty perplexing; their batsmen have been either too attacking or too defensive, with no definite Plan 'B' to fall back upon.

Ali has taken a wicket every 39 balls in the series and that is nothing short of a shock when one finds that Anderson needed 11 balls more for every wicket.

Only Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin, to an extent, have played Moeen with some confidence.

Here's a look at how India's batsmen have fared against Ali thus far in the series.

Indian batsmen against Moeen Ali in 2014 series:

 

Balls

Runs

Dismissals

Avg

Bat S/R

Murali Vijay

56

48

1

48.00

85.71

Ajinkya Rahane

127

83

2

41.50

65.35

MS Dhoni

68

39

1

39.00

57.35

R Ashwin

41

23

0

23.00+

56.10

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

100

44

2

22.00

44.00

Stuart Binny

53

37

2

18.50

69.81

Shikhar Dhawan

24

18

1

18.00

75.00

Virat Kohli

41

17

1

17.00

41.46

Ravindra Jadeja

81

45

3

15.00

55.56

Rohit Sharma

25

15

1

15.00

60.00

Cheteshwar Pujara

53

28

2

14.00

52.83

Ishant Sharma

31

11

0

11.00+

35.48

Gautam Gambhir

12

8

0

8.00+

66.66

Pankaj Singh:

4

8

1

8.00

200.00

Mohammed Shami

19

12

2

6.00

63.16

Varun Aaron

1

0

0

-

0.00

TOTAL

736

436

19

22.95

59.24

If you rewind back three years to the last time India were in England, in 2011, you will find out that Graeme Swann didn’t enjoy as much success against the visitors.

Swann, a specialist off-spinner and rated one of the best of his time, had a pretty ordinary series against India in 2011 with a total of 13 wickets in the four games despite England registering a 4-0 whitewash.

While England’s pace attack decimated Indian batting in every Test, the Indians handled the off-spinner quite well, with only Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir under-performing.

Indian batsmen against Graeme Swann in 2011 series:

 

Balls

Runs

Dismissals

Avg

Bat S/R

Rahul Dravid

228

135

1

135.00

59.21

MS Dhoni

100

64

0

64.00+

64.00

SR Tendulkar

147

64

1

64.00

43.54

Praveen Kumar

23

51

0

51.00+

221.74

VVS Laxman

52

35

0

35.00+

67.31

Yuvraj Singh

35

34

0

34.00+

97.14

Amit Mishra

90

61

2

30.50

67.78

Virender Sehwag

19

13

1

13.00

68.42

Harbhajan Singh

7

11

0

11.00+

157.14

Gautam Gambhir

56

19

2

9.50

33.93

Suresh Raina

70

27

4

6.75

38.57

S Sreesanth

9

6

1

6.00

66.67

RP Singh

3

4

0

4.00+

133.33

Ishant Sharma

13

0

1

0.00

0.00

TOTAL

852

524

13

40.30

61.50

Monty Panesar also didn’t have a good time against the Indians in the four-match series in 2007, which the visitors won 1-0.

The left-arm spinner bagged just eight wickets out of which five were of the Indian tail-enders.

Panesar’s task was made doubly difficult because he was up against some of the finest players of spin in a batting line-up featuring the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and V V S Laxman.

 Indian batsmen against Monty Panesar in 2007 series:

 

Balls

Runs

Dismissals

Avg.

Bat S/R

Sourav Ganguly

101

71

0

71.00+

70.30

MS Dhoni

96

61

0

61.00+

63.54

Anil Kumble

116

59

0

59.00+

50.86

Sachin Tendulkar

79

57

1

57.00

72.15

Dinesh Karthik

106

51

1

51.00

48.11

Rahul Dravid

101

32

1

32.00

31.68

VVS Laxman

82

30

0

30.00+

36.59

Wasim Jaffer

40

18

0

18.00+

45.00

S Sreesanth

33

16

2

8.00

48.48

Zaheer Khan

15

6

1

6.00

40.00

RP Singh

16

2

2

1.00

12.50

TOTAL

785

403

8

50.37

51.33

Image: Moeen Ali of England

Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Rajneesh Gupta