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India vs England: Moeen Ali admits that dropped catches helped set the tone for visitors

Rajkot: If England have reached a commanding position in the first Test, the dropped catches have contributed immensely, said England all-rounder Moeen Ali, who himself struck a century.

Indian fielders dropped three chances in the first hour of the match yesterday and today also Ben Stokes was dropped twice (on 60 and 61) by Wriddhiman Saha off Umesh Yadav.

Stokes went on to get highest score for England in the first innings with his 128-run knock.

Moeen Ali in action against India during the first Test in Rajkot. AP

Moeen Ali in action against India during the first Test in Rajkot. AP

Ali said it was nothing new in the game but surely it helped them.

"We have done that before a few times also. It can happen in cricket. But it set the tone for the rest of the day. We had a decent start at the end and it could have been lot different if those catches were taken. But these things happen and I am sure the guys will be working very on that," Moeen said at a press conference.

The left-handed batsman said the bounce on the SCA track will get lower and batting will be more difficult now.

"The bounce, I think is going to get little bit lower. The cracks are opening up a little bit. There was also a bit more spin as you saw tonight. It's a very good pitch, yesterday and today was very nice. I think the bounce will be a problem," said Ali.

Ali, who was on 99 at stumps on Wednesday, said he had slept well last night.

"I slept really well. I knew I had to get only one more run. I was fine," said the Asian origin player.

"There was no spin yesterday and today only towards the end there was a bit of spin. The good thing is we made them bowl a lot of overs. I think we are pleased with the way we played spin.

"I know there wasn’t much spin but we didn’t just prod around. We used our feet, went back and forth and took the attacking option. I think the wickets are going to get tougher through the series," he added.

Ali, who made 117, said compared to the wickets in Bangladesh the track here at the SCA Stadium was a batting paradise.

"The wickets are completely different. Bangladesh wickets were very tough and this wicket, compared to those wickets, was an absolute belter. The pitches are going to get tougher here and we know that."

He said a change in mentality was the reason for his recent success with the bat.

"I used to give away my wicket a few times. Last few months, I came to bat at number three and really taken the responsibility as a batsman. Last winter obviously I didn’t play that well. I worked hard on my batting this summer.

"I was working hard in the nets. Hopefully you will see the results. The roles we play in this side are very important for the team. In this series I will have to bowl spin and do the batting as well. My aim is to always bat 200 balls and if I can bat 200 balls then I will score a hundred," he said.

He also praised the innings of Ben Stokes who made 128 the innings' highest score.

"We are going to see so much of him with different kind of innings. We have seen him grind out a hundred as well and also play smart innings. I think today was perfect where he chanced his arm a bit. When you play with that freedom and that sort of fearless approach and he is becoming a fantastic all-rounder."

Updated Date: Nov 10, 2016 21:27 PM

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