England all-rounder Moeen Ali says he is going to play the upcoming tour of Australia which includes the ICC Cricket World Cup as if its last tour with his country.
The 27-year-old only has 12 One Day Internationals under his belt but he has carried the same attitude from his domestic career into the international scene which he feels puts him in the best mind-set for success.
Ali has been a revelation since making his England debut just 10 months ago in the Caribbean and has gone on to stabilise himself in all three formats after a superb opening year which included centuries in the Test and 50-over arena as well as taking 33 wickets.
The Worcestershire man has had a rapid rise to success which was helped by winning the PCA Player of the Year in 2013 after a consistent season for his adopted county which also saw him crowned the country’s Most Valuable Player.
After debuting in the Caribbean, the World T20 soon followed for ‘the beard that’s feared’ followed by his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Lord’s and in only his second game he hit a century against all the odds to go within two balls of saving England from a series defeat. In the end he was left stranded on 108 not out as James Anderson was the last wicket to fall.
However, he built on the personal success to go on and destroy India with the ball by taking 19 wickets in the five match series before appearing in the limited overs fixtures against India and on tour in Sri Lanka.
England lost the series in the sub-continent 5-2 but there were a number of positives to take with Ali hitting his maiden ODI hundred whilst the likes of Chris Woakes, Joe Root and James Taylor also impressed before Christmas.
“I’ve had some really good time off. I’ve had a couple of hits but not too much so it was really nice to freshen up before a busy few months,” Ali exclusively told GiveMeSport ahead of flying out to Australia.
“It was nice to see all my family, they know I’m going to be busy so it was nice to see them all and they’ve all been off work with it being Christmas and New Year time so it fit in really nicely.”
“I’ve switched off from the game apart from watching a bit of cricket on the TV but it’s been a big couple of weeks in the football so I’ve been keeping track of that. There are so many games so I’ve been keeping up to date with that with me being a Liverpool fan.”
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England are due to be in Australia until late March before a four week tour of the West Indies which means they will be away from home until the second week in May. In that time they will be led by different captains after the England selectors decided to drop Alastair Cook for the tri-series against Australia and India and the following World Cup with Eoin Morgan replacing him as ODI skipper.
The bold decision shows no England player is guaranteed to be selected for their country and that is something Ali agrees with.
“I was very, very happy to be selected firstly for the tri-series and then the World Cup squad. It’s an honour so hopefully we can come back really happy as a team,” admitted the Worcestershire man.
“To be honest with you my mind-set is always that nothing is guaranteed in life or in cricket so I never like to get too comfortable in a team. I’d never feel like a regular or take it for granted, for me it’s all about focusing on the next game and play every one like it’s my first or my last game.”