Moeen Ali says he loves captaining Worcestershire Rapids when England commitments allow and that Friday’s pressure-cooker Vitality Blast clash with Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston is ideal preparation for the quarter-finals.

The Rapids are already through to the last eight but need a victory against their local rivals to boost their chances of securing a top two spot and a home tie.

It will be a repeat scenario of when the two teams met in the Royal London One-Day Cup when the Rapids triumphed to seal top spot in the North Group.
Moeen has been included in the England squad for the third Specsavers Test with India at Trent Bridge beginning on Saturday.

But as regards the Rapids clash with the Bears, he said: “It is going to come down to that last game (for a home tie).

“It is probably what we want and need as a team right now. You don’t want to go into the quarter-finals struggling or cruising.

“You want to be under pressure and play every game like that. If we win Friday it will be a big boost to the lads.

“It’s almost going to be like a knockout game anyway. We are playing well. Even when we are losing, we are not playing badly which is a good sign.”

Moeen added: “Am I enjoying the captaincy? I love it. It keeps you in the game and the boys are brilliant to lead and we’ve done some really good stuff.

“I did a bit of captaincy with the England Under-19s.

“It is completely different being a captain in T20 to a four-day game and stuff like that. It is more my style.”

Moeen has been released by England to play for the Rapids after not being into the final eleven for the opening two Tests.

He said: “I’m batting once a week at the moment. I’m training and trying to get better all the time. You just go out and try and do your best everytime you go out.

“It’s not difficult (switching from England to domestic T20). It’s different but it’s never difficult. Both bunches of lads are similar, really nice guys, and easy to be part of.”