Bayliss contemplates Moeen’s position in batting order

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Coach Trevor Bayliss has expressed interest in all-rounder Moeen Ali batting in third position in England’s Test XI.

Ali has spent the bulk of 51 Tests in position six or seven in the batting order, but came in third in the second innings last week, when England beat India in the fourth Test.

Bayliss cited captain Joe Root’s move from fourth to third position, as plausible justification for Ali potentially being promoted on a permanent basis.

“Joe has always said he wants to bat at number four. But I thought it was for the best of the team he batted at three and he understood where I was coming from,” said Bayliss.

“All credit to him. He has taken that role on with no problems. He has taken one for the team in that respect.

“I hope we can find someone who can do a decent job at number three, and he can bat where he feels most comfortable. If we had a number three averaging 50, to allow him to bat at number four, that would be handy.

“Ali works hard at his game. In the right conditions, I would not put it past him. When Root asked him if he was keen to do it, he jumped at it.”

Conditions in the United Kingdom effectively suit Ali’s approach to batting, but will differ during tours of Sri Lanka and the West Indies later this year.

“His challenge will be on the faster wickets, but we haven’t got any of those for a while. In spinning conditions, he can cover that position pretty well at the moment. He has a chance,” added Bayliss.

England’s final Test against India at The Oval in London will start on Friday. The hosts have an unassailable three-one series lead.

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