Moeen: Spin set for vital role against South Africa


Moeen Ali is ready to provide whatever support is needed to the England bowling attack as they prepare to start the four-Test series with South Africa on Saturday.

The spinner took 6-77 in the second innings of their final tour game against South Africa A on Tuesday, helping England to victory by an innings and 91 runs.

Moeen is likely to be Alastair Cook's first-choice spinner throughout the series, and he knows his role will be important to his side's success for varying reasons.

"I think both spinners - from their side as well - are going to be important to try and hold an end up and things like that," he told the official ECB website.

"If it's spinning [I need] to try and get some wickets, and sometimes to give the [fast] bowlers a rest.

"Depending on the situation of the game and the conditions, it's going to be very important.

"It [the series] is up there with the Ashes, to play South Africa in their back yard is going to be tough. We're going to have to play really well to win."

After opening the batting during England's previous tour to the United Arab Emirates where they faced Pakistan, Moeen is expected to move back down the order against the Proteas.

The 28-year-old only averaged 14 against Pakistan as he struggled at the top of the order, and he is looking forward to having a bit more freedom this time around.

He added: "I feel alright actually, going to number eight. I'm just going to go out and play a few shots when I can."