Moeen reveals batting frustrations in Sri Lanka Test series

Moeen Ali has revealed his frustration at being moved around England’s batting order during the recent Test series in Sri Lanka.

The 31-year-old Moeen starred with the ball – taking 18 wickets – as England whitewashed their opponents in the three-match series – England’s first away series whitewash in 55 years.

However, the left-hander says he struggled for consistency with the bat because he was unable to hold down a specific position in the order.

He batted at number three in the first Test, registering scores of 0 and three, before being dropped down the order for the rest of the series.

Moeen scored 10 in both innings in the second Test in Pallekele before hitting 33 and 22 in the final Test in Colombo.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Moeen said: “Yes, I wasn’t quite sure actually because in the warm-up games I batted seven and nine and then I was told I was going to bat at three.

“Then after one game, I went down to six and seven. I’ve had that before so it’s not new to me.

“It can be frustrating but when you think about the side and what the team needs at the time then you kind of get over it and try to move on and try to do the best you can as a cricketer for England.

“I think it’s difficult to be consistent. I never had that match practice at three.

“The openers opened in the practice games, Joe Root batted four, I batted five or six and that can be quite frustrating because you haven’t been that three in the first two practice games and then you’re in the Test match and batting at three.

“It can be (frustrating) but the team was probably different to how they had it in the back of their heads at the start of the tour.

“We had to try and adapt to that as a team and I tried but it obviously didn’t work out, but with the ball it was great.”

Moeen also believes Jonny Bairstow can make the number three spot in the England Test side his own after scoring a century in the final Test after being brought back into the side.

Bairstow lost his place as wicketkeeper to Ben Foakes but showed his qualities as a batsman and Moeen says he always rises to a challenge.

Moeen said of Bairstow: “Definitely, I think he can after the quality he has sown over the years. He was always going to get a hundred that day.

“He’s that sort of guy, he thrives in those situations. He was obviously a little upset he wasn’t playing in the game before but that’s what you want from a side, somebody that can step up and come in at three and score a hundred.

“I’m sure he’s going to have challenges going forward but he’s always stepped up to them and he’s a quality player.”