Moeen Ali insists there is ‘no excuse’ for England’s poor white-ball form

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Moeen Ali admitted the absence of several regulars is “no excuse” for England’s faltering white-ball tour of the Caribbean ahead of a must-win T20 against Grenada on Saturday.

Following a shock group-stage exit at the World Cup in India, England lost the ODI series to the West Indies and have no more margin for error in the T20s after falling 2-0 down with three to play.

This was supposed to be a dry run for the defence of their T20 World Cup in the region next summer, but the Windies’ belligerent batting has helped them to victories in Barbados and Grenada this week.

While the tourists are without Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood, Moeen pointed out the bulk of the side that won the T20 World Cup last year are in tow and should be doing better than they are.

“There’s still players to come back,” Moeen said. “Obviously with Stokesy, Bairstow and Woody.

“But there’s no excuse. Everyone’s a good player here – our guys have played quite a bit now in T20 cricket. It wasn’t long ago since we won the World Cup.

“We’ve just gotta adapt quickly to these conditions because this is what we’re going to get, it will be completely different to (last year’s tournament in) Australia. I think we’ve just got to start winning.

You can still be positive and hit the ball high but you don’t have to always hit sixes

“There’s still a bit of time to go before the World Cup, but obviously we need to get a few things right as a side. We need to grab those moments and recognise those moments straight away.”

The Windies have muscled a combined 27 sixes so far to persistently put pressure on England’s bowlers, while Jos Buttler’s side have cleared the rope on just 14 occasions.

However, several England batters have been guilty of failing to build on their starts and gifted their wickets by being caught on the boundary in Thursday’s 10-run defeat.

Slow left-armer Gudakesh Motie conceded just nine runs in his four overs on a slow pitch and Moeen argued England’s batters do not necessarily need to look to go aerial all the time.

“It is not good enough from our point – at least, I think we can rotate a bit more if we’re not going to take him down, rotate a bit more and at least keep the scoreboard ticking,” Moeen said.

“You always target bowlers and I just think we probably didn’t get it right against their spin.

“Yes, we’ve got a lot of power and we can hit balls, but we’re just giving the wicket away a lot of the time. You can still be positive and hit the ball high, but you don’t have to always hit sixes.”

A switch of formats has not been conducive for England captain Jos Buttler, who was out for five off seven balls at the National Cricket Stadium after prodding meekly to the cover fielder in the ring.

It has been a frustrating few months for Buttler, both in terms of his performances and England’s results, but his white-ball deputy Moeen has urged for patience with the side in transition.

“My role is to give him an answer when he asks me and make sure there’s no doubt about anything coming from me and support him as much as I can,” Moeen added. “He’s led us to a World Cup (win).

“There will be a difficult period. This was always going to happen as everyone knows. It’s just getting back on it and making it clear for everybody their roles in the side.”

With a second match in 48 hours at St George’s, England are likely to shuffle their bowlers as left-arm seamer Reece Topley and uncapped paceman John Turner push for involvement.

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