Moeen: I think I see myself as an all-rounder now

England

Burgeoning all-rounder Moeen Ali is eager to play a telling role with the ball, come England's series against Sri Lanka in May and June.

Burgeoning all-rounder Moeen Ali is eager to play a telling role with the ball, come England's series against Sri Lanka in May and June.

Ali will likely be named in the squads for the one-off Twenty20 International, five ODIs and two Tests.

The 26-year-old was picked predominantly as a batsman for the tour of the West Indies and the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh earlier this year, but contributed a string of key spells of off-spin too.

"I think now I see myself as an all-rounder," he told <i>ESPNcricinfo's #politeenquiries show</i>.

"I got picked by England for my batting but I think got picked over guys who have done more than me in the last couple of years because of my bowling. The more years go on the better I'm getting with my bowling.

"I've probably bowled a lot more than most off-spinners in county cricket over the last two or three years. I bowl in all forms which is nice."

Former spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed, meanwhile, has insisted England will struggle to return to the helm of the Test rankings without an effective specialist slow bowler.

The prolific Graeme Swann retired from international cricket in December, leaving left-armer Monty Panesar at the fore of the spin-bowling attack in a historic five-nil series whitewash to the Australians.

Leg-spinner Scott Borthwick, Kent's James Tredwell, Lancashire's Simon Kerrigan and the uncapped Danny Briggs and Stephen Parry, meanwhile, remain on the outskirts of selection.

"England or for that matter no team can expect to be number one in Test cricket or retain their top position for long without having a wicket-taking spin bowler," said Mushtaq, who was appointed appointed as a spin bowling consultant with the Pakistan Cricket Board this week.

"Swann was a wicket-taking spinner and with Panesar he helped England win not only in India after some 29 years but also played a key role in Ashes success in the United Kingdom."

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