Moeen tips Dawson to shine

Moeen Ali has backed the uncapped Liam Dawson to make an impression if England opt to play three spinners in their ICC World Twenty20 Group 1 clash against Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Moeen and Adil Rashid were chosen ahead of Dawson in England’s first two matches of the tournament, a defeat to West Indies followed by a stunning victory over South Africa, in Mumbai.

Both spinners struggled on Wankhede Stadium surfaces skipper Eoin Morgan deemed a “bowler’s graveyard”, but England expect the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi to offer more assistance to the slow bowlers.

That may result in Hampshire spin-bowling all-rounder Dawson, who impressed in limited-overs series for England Lions either side of Christmas, receiving his first international cap and Moeen believes that would be a good move.

Spin-bowling all-rounder Liam Dawson could make his international debut for England against Afghanistan on Wednesday in Delhi

“I’ve worked quite a bit with him, he’s really good,” said Moeen. “He can bowl really well with the new ball and the older ball.

“We’ve got a good side and we’ve just won a game against South Africa so I’m not sure exactly what the captain and coach are thinking, but maybe the guys are talking about playing three spinners.

“It would be a good idea I feel.”

Spin has dominated matches in Group 2 at venues like Nagpur and Kolkata, leaving Moeen and Rashid licking their lips at the prospect of operating on spin-friendly pitches.

Moeen said: “There’s been some good pitches for spinners to bowl on so far. Every time Adil and I have watched the games we’ve been saying ‘we’d love to be bowling on that pitch’.

“I didn’t enjoy bowling in Mumbai, it wasn’t really conducive to spin so I hope the other pitches, like here where we play our next two games, will be.

“Obviously this wicket is going to be a little different, a little bit slower and I don’t expect the runs to be coming as quickly.”

England are refusing to take Afghanistan lightly after the associate nation briefly gave South Africa a run for their money yesterday.

A big win would boost England’s hopes of advancing from a group where net run-rate could prove vital, but Moeen is refusing to look too far ahead.

“We’ve not thought about net run-rates at all, I’m not sure we’ve got the brains in our team to really think about that!” he said. “It’s more important we try to win the games.

“Afghanistan are a very good side and they competed well against South Africa. We’re not taking them lightly.

“We are going to play them with everything we’ve got, just as we would against South Africa or the West Indies.”

Source: ECB

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