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Moeen at home with tourists

Moeen Ali speaks about his enjoyment of England's tour to the Caribbean

By Rob Barnett

Moeen Ali feels he has fitted seamlessly into England’s one-day side and he is hoping to do likewise in the Twenty20 team.

The current tour of the West Indies is the first time the left-handed batsman has been in an England squad, which makes his important role in the tourists’ one-day series victory all the more impressive.

Opening the batting alongside fellow format debutant Michael Lumb, Moeen registered scores of 44, 10 and 55 as well as taking a wicket in each game with his off-spin.

The 26-year-old, who toured Sri Lanka with England Lions before joining the senior squad in the Caribbean, is delighted to be with coach Ashley Giles’ party.

Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, he said: "I'm very, very happy. It's a brilliant experience to be around top-quality players, and to play against some good players feels nice. You just want to keep doing well. Every practice means a lot to me.

Moeen Ali, who has made scores of 44, 10 and 55 so far for England and taken three wickets, enthused: "You just want to keep doing well."

"I feel very comfortable. The environment that's been created is phenomenal and I feel like I can just be myself and do my own thing, work hard and just contribute in every way.

“You always want more; it’s the nature of us. But I’m pleased with the way I’ve started. If I can just keep going now and obviously get bigger scores in the future then I’ll be happy.”

Moeen also went to Australia with the England Performance Programme late last year, the first of several rewards for an outstanding domestic season with Worcestershire.

More than 2,000 runs across all formats and 55 wickets made him the NatWest PCA Player of the Year and the FTI Most Valuable Player among his county colleauges.

“I’m happy with my game. I’ve been happy with my game for a while now. As long as I work hard and I do my work-out then I feel like I can perform against anybody at any time. As long as I keep ticking away then I’ll be happy,” he added.

Moeen, now in Barbados after the England party moved on from Antigua, is eyeing a spot in the tourists’ T20 XI for the three games with West Indies from Sunday.

However, he does not want to get ahead of himself when it comes to selection in the World Twenty20 team, although he is in the squad, or the Test side.

"It's still another week or so away so I don't like to think too far ahead. I'll obviously try to get into the Twenty20 side first and as long as we're winning I don't really care,” he said.

As for the possibility of facing Sri Lanka or India in whites this summer, he added: "I've got to go back home and do well for Worcester first and see what happens from there.

"It's so far away so anything can happen - injuries, whatever - so I'm just pleased to be playing for England right now."

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