Moeen prefers number five role

14 May 2017 04:15:56 EST

All-rounder Moeen Ali still sees himself as primarily a batsman, despite having taken on the role as the leading spinner in the England team for much of his international career.

The 29-year-old has taken 98 wickets in 37 Test appearances for the Three Lions, while he is also closing in on 2,000 runs, having reached three figures on five occasions.

The perfect role would be to bat at No.5, mainly as a second spinner.

Moeen Ali

However, Moeen feels that he should be viewed as a batsman first, dismissing the idea that he is a direct replacement for former England spin wizard Graeme Swann.

He told the Mail on Sunday: "The perfect role would be to bat at No.5, mainly as a second spinner.

"I know I'm not the best spinner in the world. I'm never going to regularly bowl a team out like Graeme Swann.

"But it's a little bit unfair because Swann made his debut at 29 after bowling lots of overs and being a proper spinner, whereas I was a batsman who bowled a little bit of spin and started at 26.

"To be totally honest, I feel I've done better than I thought I was going to do.

"Even though most of the time I'm the No.1 spinner for England, I still consider myself to be the No.2 spinner, because I'm more of a batter."

The next assignment for Moeen and his England colleagues is the try and win the ICC Champions Trophy on home soil next month.

The hosts are 1212/1 to win the competition for the first time, with Australia priced at 1212/1 and South Africa available at 1212/1.

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