London, May 31: England all-rounder Moeen Ali said the team adapted well to a slow wicket at the Oval to post a 300-plus total against South Africa, cornerstone of their 104-run win in the opening-game of the ICC World Cup 2019. Moeen added that England were not able to do that in some of the past tournaments and it will only add to their confidence that they managed to do that in the first game of the quadrennial big bash.
On adapting to a tough wicket: It wasn't an easy wicket. And to get 310-plus, we did really well. We were thinking more like 280-290. We managed to get 20 more than that. We managed to adapt, which we haven't been able to do in tournaments past on wickets like that. That's the best thing. I think we have been talking about wickets, how to adapt and get a big score.
On spinners being crucial: I think spinners are going to be huge. I think as you saw, Imran bowled really well. There was spin as well for Rash and there's always going to be a chance for getting wickets, especially if it is going to spin like it did today. I think spin will play a big part.
On the role of finger spinner: I try and bowl tight. There is not a massive amount that you can do unless it is spinning a huge amount. I try to bowl tight, build pressure and try and get wickets. As a finger spinner, you don't have that mystery. That one extra fielder (inside) makes a bit of a difference. It's not like we can bowl a googly or anything like that. You need to control the middle overs. I think as a finger spinner, it is very difficult. As a wrist spinner, you can still spin the ball both ways, slider and googly. As a finger spinner, the maximum you can use is the arm ball, maybe the carrom ball. Not many people do that.
On trying out carrom ball: I have, but I don't have the patience to stick with it. I have been practicing for a while. I went to India for the IPL and I bowled two in the nets. Pathetic balls they were. The boundaries are so small. Same here. The wickets are so good that the batters don't care what is coming their way. They use their strength and bat and hit the ball hard.
On England having two all-rounders - Ben and Jofra: Jofra has got to score a few runs first. The way he bowls is amazing. All the teams will be watching. He is not just quick, he is very accurate. He has got control, good slower balls, yorkers. I have faced him a lot in the nets, I don't want to face him again.
On Stokes' all-round effort: He missed out on the last World Cup, he was disappointed. He is capable of winning games on his own. He is very mature and he brings a lot to the team - batting, bowling and fielding. You can't replace that. No matter what format it is, he always gives 100%. He is great to have in our team.