'It was almost nice to have a break. I wasn't in great form coming here. It is just nice to go out and express myself.'
Axed from England’s squad for the Tests against Pakistan, all-rounder Moeen Ali says his Indian Premier League stint will make him a better One-day player and improve his game.
"I have really worked on my game and I feel going further in the future for RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore and for England, hopefully it will help me become a better one-day player. Hopefully, it is going to improve my game," he said on Thursday night.
Ali is instrumental in keeping Royal Challengers Bangalore's chances of qualifying for play-offs intact. He claimed two wickets and in the company of AB de Villiers then smashed a match-winning half century against Sunrisers Hyderabad on in Thursday’s IPL game in Bengaluru.
The English player hammered a 34-ball 65, which was studded with two boundaries and six sixes, to guide RCB to 218 for 6.
He credited RCB’s support staff, which includes Gary Kirsten and Trent Woodhill, for his improved batting.
"Yeah, Gary and Trent Woodhill. I have worked the most with them on my batting. I am trying to hit the ball and be consistent in hitting boundaries. They have really opened my game and I feel going further for England, it will help me become a better ODI player and improve my game," he said.
Pleased after being able to express himself with the bat, Ali was hopeful that his team's confidence gets a boost going ahead.
"It was almost nice to have a break. I wasn't in great form coming here. It is just nice to go out and express myself. And for my own confidence and the team's confidence in me. Hopefully, we can keep going and I can keep this form going," he added.
After aggregating a mere 179 runs and five wickets in the Ashes, Ali found himself out of the team for the second New Zealand Test, and then dropped for the Pakistan series.
RCB captain Virat Kohli lauded Ali for bringing balance to the side.
"Moeen's come in and done a great job for us. Three games he has bowled really well and tonight his knock was outstanding, so hats off to him for grabbing his opportunities," he said.
Sunrisers's Manish Pandey praised Mohammed Siraj for bowling the last over, in which 20 runs were required for his side to get past the target of 219, but the visitors managed only five runs.
"Twenty runs. Kane (Williamson) was on strike; first ball when a wicket goes sometimes it is difficult to come up from there. Mohammed Siraj bowled really well to get those yorkers right on the spot.
Probably, if I would have connected a couple, we would have come closer, but they bowled better in the last five overs than us. That was the difference," he said.
Pandey, who scored an unbeaten 62 off 38 deliveries, also had good words to say about his skipper Kane Williamson, who too struck a fine half century.
"(He has done) very well. He has got about 600 runs this IPL already. Captaincy... he has been using the bowlers really well.
"He is understanding the culture of the team and how to bring in our main spinners like Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan. They have been taking wickets for us and are real assets," he said.