Moeen Ali, who is set to return to England to prepare for the upcoming World Cup, says leaving the Indian Premier League midway through the season is a shame, especially when there is a slim chance of Royal Challengers Bangalore making it into the semi-finals if they win all the remaining games.
However, ahead of Wednesday’s RCB-Kings XI Punjab match at the Chinnaswamy stadium, in Bengaluru, he added that he will keep an eye on how RCB is shaping up.
"It's not ideal. I think it's worse when there are three games to go. If there were six-seven games, it was a little more understandable. And knowing that there could be a chance of going through if we win all our games, then you miss out on a potential semi-final and stuff, but I will definitely keep an eye out and see how they are going, hoping that we are winning all our games," he told reporters on Tuesday evening.
Replying to a query, Ali said the IPL has helped him prepare well for the World Cup as it gave him an opportunity to rub shoulders with foreign players and get enough time at the nets to improve skills.
Asked if he preferred batting up the order for RCB, Ali said it does not bother him much.
"We tried left and right combination to make it tougher for the bowlers and fielders. ... I may prefer to come in as early as possible. I am not too worried until the team is winning and I am doing okay," he said.
On RCB depending too much on AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli, Ali said it is very difficult for a team to rely on two batsmen.
"... My job is to come and score some runs as quickly as AB and Virat and take the game away from the opposition, if one of them fails to get a start," he said.
Ali said Dale Steyn's presence has strengthened RCB's bowling attack as the South African express has picked wickets in the first four overs, which helps a team win most of the time.
"Dale has been a huge impact. We did not take wickets in the powerplays. If you take four wickets in powerplays, most of the time you win matches. He has been a class act. The way he swings the ball is a brave thing to do. Probably that has been the missing factor, which cost us games."
Asked if he needs to bowl more, Ali said as long as the team is winning, these things do not worry him much.
"It is a small ground here. I observed in the last match that seamers were hard to score off.
“I really did not get the window to bowl against KKR when Andre Russel came in. But as long as you are winning you really don't worry too much."