Root is ‘best in the world’, says Moeen ahead of England’s test

England's Joe Root, right, in action during the final day of first test match against Pakistan at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi
England's Joe Root, right, in action during the final day of first test match against Pakistan at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi
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England will come up against the best spin bowler in the world when the second Test against Pakistan gets underway this morning in Dubai.

But Moeen Ali, one half of England’s own spin bowling pair, believes England have a secret weapon to deal with the threat of the returning leg-spinner Yasir Shah; Sheffield’s Joe Root.

“He’s obviously their gun spinner and the guy they go to to win them games ... but we just need to play him as we would anyone, just get on with it,” Moeen said.

“Batting will be tougher than Abu Dhabi, but we have some really good players of spin.

“I think Joe Root is probably the best player of spin in the world.

“So we aren’t too fazed - we are preparing well, and full of confidence.”

England’s own leggie, Adil Rashid, will be full of confidence following his five-wicket haul in the first Test, which helped England almost pull off a shock victory.

Rashid bounced back from first-innings figures of 0-163 to almost enjoy the most memorable of Test debuts, and Moeen said: “I’m very happy for him. He took some stick in the first innings - but as a team we felt he bowled quite well.

Afterwards, we just went out, got some food like we do every night, and just talked about how we are going to bowl in the second innings and maybe what he should have done. He felt he’d bowled all right - just that they attacked him on debut.

“He’s not someone who gets down. We both have similar characters - we don’t get down or get too over-excited. We kept telling him his wickets would come ... he’s got so much talent, and if his confidence is high he’ll be good.”