Joe Root is best player of spin in world: Moeen Ali

Dubai, Oct 21 (IANS) England off-spinner Moeen Ali believes his team should not fear a turning pitch here this week against Pakistan as they have “the best player of spin in the world” in Joe Root.

A more turning surface is expected for the second cricket Test than for the opening game in Abu Dhabi, where the two sides scored a combined 1,121 first-innings runs.

That could spell trouble for the tourists given Pakistan’s top leg-spinner Yasir Shah is expected to return to the side on Thursday after missing the first Test with a back problem.

“Yasir’s obviously their gun spinner and the guy they go to win them games, but we just need to play him as we would anyone, just get on with it. Batting’s obviously going to be tougher than it was in Abu Dhabi. But we’ve got some good players of spin,” Ali was quoted as saying by Sky Sports on Tuesday.

Shah has 61 wickets in 10 Tests and is currently the world’s top-ranked slow bowler, but Moeen believes an England batting line-up led by Root has the game to cope.

“I think Rooty’s probably the best player of spin in the world, so we’re not too fazed. We’re preparing well, and as long as we’re prepared we’re happy to go into the game full of confidence,” he said.

England’s own leg-spinner Adil Rashid underlined his potential with five second-innings wickets in the first Test, while Moeen’s off-spin yielded two more amid the final-day drama.

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