Moeen Ali has 'a chance' of being England's regular Test No 3, says Trevor Bayliss
"His challenge will be on the faster wickets but we haven't got any of those for a while. In spinning conditions, he can cover that position pretty well at the moment."
Last Updated: 04/09/18 8:26am
Trevor Bayliss says Moeen Ali has "a chance" of being England’s regular Test No 3 over the next few months after his promotion to the spot at The Ageas Bowl.
Ali came in at first wicket down in England's second innings in the fourth Test against India, with skipper Joe Root dropping himself down to No 4, the place where Bayliss says he wants to bat.
The England head coach suggested Ali could keep the No 3 position for the foreseeable future with the side's winter assignments in Sri Lanka and the Windies set to be contested on spinning pitches.
"Joe has always said he wants to bat at No 4. But I thought it was for the best of the team he batted at three and he understood where I was coming from," said Bayliss.
"All credit to him. He has taken that role on with no problems. He has taken one for the team in that respect.
"I hope we can find someone who can do a decent job at number three, and he can bat where he feels most comfortable. If we had a No 3 averaging 50 to allow him to bat at No. 4 that would be handy.
"[Ali] works hard at his game. In the right conditions, I would not put it past him. When Rooty asked him if he was keen to do it, he jumped at it.
"His challenge will be on the faster wickets but we haven't got any of those for a while. In spinning conditions, he can cover that position pretty well at the moment. He has a chance."
Bayliss also said that Jonny Bairstow remains eager to keep wicket for England - the Yokshireman was forced to hand the gloves to Jos Buttler for the series-sealing victory at The Ageas Bowl due to a fractured finger he sustained during the defeat to India in the third Test at Trent Bridge.
"He is very keen to keep. He tried it before the match started, but he admitted it was not right to keep," added the Australian.
"He is one of our better batters, so he was always going to play as a bat if he wasn't keeping as well - but going forward he wants to keep.
"How he reacts [if Buttler takes the gloves permanently] is for Jonny if it happens down the line. That is the challenge for us, and challenge for anyone who gets one of those strings taken away."
Watch day one of the fifth Test between England and India, at The Oval, live from 10am on Friday on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Main Event (channel 401).
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