Ali backs England's T20I depth: 'We've got guys putting their hands up'

By Sports Desk January 26, 2022

England's stand-in captain Moeen Ali has praised the side's three debutants in Wednesday's 20-run loss to West Indies with Phil Salt shining with a quickfire half-century.

West Indies took the game away from the tourists with a stunning 224-5 headlined by Rovman Powell's hundred where he combined with Nicholas Pooran for a 122-run third-wicket stand.

England, who were without skipper Eoin Morgan after he felt his thigh in the warm-up, fell short in reply at 204-9.

Tom Banton blazed 73 from 39 balls at the top of the order, while debutant Salt came in at six but managed 57 from 24 deliveries to keep England in the game.

Salt was one of five changes from the second T20I and one of three debutants, alongside allrounder George Garton and Harry Brook.

"We were done a little bit with Morgs going down and playing three debutants but they played really well," Ali said after the game.

"A fantastic partnership took the game away from us but proud of the way the boys batted at the end."

Sam Billings was unwell and Chris Jordan rested, while Saqib Mahmood and Liam Dawson dropped out with England offering opportunities throughout the five-game series.

England's Test squad returned home following their 4-0 Ashes defeat, rather than link up with the T20I squad, meaning Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Mark Wood are absent for the series.

But Ali said the tour had offered some opportunities to explore their white-ball depth.

"We've got guys putting their hands up, Bants was outstanding today, great for his confidence going forward," Ali said.

"We are confident in our side and we said from the start it would be a brilliant series."

Garton took the early wicket of Brandon King but finished with 57-1 from his four overs, while Brook only managed 10 from 13 balls batting at seven.

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    Backs

    Henry Arundell (London Irish), Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Will Joseph (London Irish), Louis Lynagh (Harlequins), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby).

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