Daily Mail

I’ll move aside and let the youngsters in, says Moeen

- LAWRENCE BOOTH reports from Pune

ENGLAND vice-captain Moeen Ali has admitted an ageing team didn’t see ‘the writing on the wall’ before embarking on one of the most disastrous World Cup defences in sporting history. Speaking after England’s eliminatio­n was finally confirmed by Saturday’s 33-run defeat by Australia in Ahmedabad, the 36-year-old Moeen said the time had come to move forward with a new 50-over team — and volunteere­d himself as one of the seniors to make way. ‘Maybe the writing was on the wall and we just didn’t see it because we thought we’d been performing well,’ he said. ‘But I just think everything good comes to an end at some point.

‘If I was in charge, I’d play the younger guys after this. I’d just start again, and I’m sure they’re going to do that. It’s common sense more than anything. You want that fearless approach back and it’s a great time to start again. ‘I’ll speak to Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott and see what they want from me. If they say, “Look, we’re going to go with younger players and start again”, then I’m more than happy. I get it.’ England’s next 50-over assignment following the World Cup will be a three-match series in the West Indies starting in early December — a tour that includes five Twenty20 internatio­nals as part of the build-up to next summer’s World Cup in the USA and the Caribbean. And although Moeen agrees England must undergo a one-day overhaul, he believes many of the players who underperfo­rmed so badly here in India will be in the 20-over party.

First, though, Buttler’s team must try to salvage the bare minimum from a World Cup in which they have lost six of their seven matches, most by thumping margins. And that means beating the Netherland­s here in Pune on Wednesday and Pakistan in Kolkata on Saturday to ensure the top-eight finish that would guarantee qualificat­ion for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

Failure to reach world cricket’s second-most prestigiou­s 50-over event will not help Mott’s prospects of staying on as coach, and Moeen admitted: ‘We’ve got to turn up properly as players. They are two massive games. It’s very important we make sure we qualify.’

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