Moeen takes aim at 2015 Aussie team
England allrounder opens up on his difficulties against Nathan Lyon and makes some pointed comments about his past experiences against Australian teams
14 September 2018, 09:21 AM AEST
England allrounder Moeen Ali says Australia is the only team he's ever disliked, describing the side he faced during the 2015 away Ashes as "rude" and "disrespectful".
The allrounder, speaking exclusively to the UK's The Times newspaper in a wide-ranging interview that also discussed his journey back into England's Test team after a disastrous campaign in Australia and New Zealand last summer, didn't hold back about his dislike of the Australian team, calling out examples from 2015.
"Everyone you speak to . . . they are the only team I've played against my whole life that I've actually disliked," Ali told the The Times.
"Not because it's Australia and they are the old enemy but because of the way they carry on and (their) disrespect of people and players."
Ali, who played a major role in England's 4-1 series win over India this month after being recalled to the side, also feels no sympathy for banned trio David Warner, Smith and Cameron Bancroft.
But he says the attitude of the Australian ODI side he met in June 2018, under the new leadership of Tim Paine following the events in Cape Town in March, was "very good".
"I'm someone who generally feels sorry for people when things go wrong but it's difficult to feel sorry for them," he said.
"This ODI series (in the UK in June) they were very good actually; they’d been . . . ” Humbled? “Yeah, humbled.
"The first game I ever played against them, in Sydney, just before the 2015 World Cup, they were not just going hard at you, they were almost abusing you.
"That was the first time it hit me. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but the more I played against them they were just as bad, the Ashes here (in 2015) they were worse actually.
"Not intimidating, just rude. Individually they are fine and the Aussies we've had at Worcester have been fantastic, lovely guys."
The 31-year-old's struggles with bat and ball on the 2017-18 Ashes tour in Australia last year were a major reason for England's 4-0 defeat and led to him being dropped for the first time in his career at the conclusion of the series.
Ali admits the pressure of a first overseas Ashes series got to him, as did his struggles against Nathan Lyon.
"I found it very difficult in Australia to switch off," he said.
"It was my first Ashes tour and I was desperate to do well and was really looking forward to it.
"I worked so hard on the short ball before the series began, maybe too hard.
"Then (Nathan) Lyon kept getting me out. I found that very hard to deal with. I never thought that I was a poor player of spin but I really struggled against him.
I wasn't getting any wickets either. Things just got tougher and tougher."