Moeen Ali on Friday (September 7) played a patient knock as he scored a 170 ball 50 coming in at number 3 for England. Winning the toss, England finished day one batting first at 198 for 7 losing six wickets in the final session.
Moeen Ali (50) and Alastair Cook (71) played the second session and ended on 133 for 1 at Tea. England then lost quick wickets in the third session to allow India to bounce back in the game. Meanwhile, during the tea break, rest of the England players were comparing Moeen Ali with Geoffrey Boycott as it was an innings like a typically Boycott one which includes a lot of hits and misses.
"I probably wasn't good enough to nick them," said Moeen. "When I went into tea, the guys were calling me Geoffrey Boycott, then they came in, played and missed their first ball, and I was pretty happy with that."
"I just tried to take it a ball at a time. I thought they bowled really well. The wicket was quite slow, but the ball was always doing something, so I just tried to stay as patient as I could. The Indian bowlers didn't give me a lot to hit. So I just tried to bat. I don't always play like that, but we were in a decent position."
Moeen admitted he took a different approach for this week, having more time to prepare for batting at No.3 than the matter of hours' notice he was given before the fourth Test in Southampton.
"I prepared different this week than I would have done previously, a bit more newer ball," said Moeen. "It just gives you time to get your mind around batting No.3 for England."
"I've not done it much for England before, and we've tried people - not just three but four, five - and I don't see why I can't bat there or do the job. I just go out and try to play according to the situation. I bat No.3 for Worcester, managed to score some runs there this year. So why not? Just go out and play the same way."
Moeen is likely to keep the job for the Sri Lanka tour but whether or not he is a stop-gap or a long-term solution remains to be seen.
"It's a good thing because there's times when you can balance the team out, and for that reason, you get into the side probably before most of the other guys. But there are times also when you just feel you want a set batting position in the side."
(Inputs from ESPN Cricinfo)