Moeen Ali believes England have to be "a lot more fearless, braver and smarter" in their approach to One-Day International cricket as they start preparations for the World Cup with a seven match series in Sri Lanka.

And the Worcestershire all-rounder would love to open the batting if given the opportunity – a role he was employed in at the start of his England career in the West Indies last winter.

He admits he has had a "patchy" ODI career so far after his initial success in the Windies – where he had scores of 44, 10 and 55 – and was left out of the home games with Sri Lanka and the opening two matches of the India series before being recalled for the final three encounters.

He said: "I didn’t play in the first three games of our series against India so I watched the way they batted and the biggest thing I got out of that was how fearless they were.

"They just went out and backed themselves and you could see a massive difference in the way they batted compared to us. They really express themselves and that’s what we need to do too.

"We've got to be a lot more fearless, braver and also smart – batting, bowling and fielding – and hopefully you will see that in Sri Lanka.

"I feel we have got the players. It's just having the confidence to do it and not be afraid of making a mistake."

Moeen's first objective will be to try and ensure he is part of the first eleven and, while he is prepared to bat where required, going in first would be his choice.

He said: "My one-day career, it's been a little bit patchy. I started in the West Indies and then didn't play against Sri Lanka at home and then played the last couple of the series against India at home.

"It's been a little bit patchy but hopefully I can get a long run in the side.

"This series is now very important because there is a World Cup around the corner, there are some places up for grabs so hopefully we can have a good series.

"I don't like to look too far ahead but if I can get into the side first of all for this series and then perform, then I'll be happy.

"I've been up and down the order but that doesn't bother me too much. If I can string a run of games together, I'll be happy.

"I can adapt to a few positions so I don't mind at all. If I had a choice myself I would love to open (the batting). I’ve done that for much of my career at Worcester.

"I know there are people who have opened longer than me with better records but that’s my long-term aim."

England will play at least 11 ODIs before they launch their World Cup campaign in February and Moeen is ready for the challenges that will be presented playing in Sri Lanla.

He said: "We have got some one-day cricket before the World Cup and that will be a massive advantage.

"Hopefully by the time the World Cup comes you will have a set side that knows their roles a lot more.

"I'm very excited about the Sri Lanka trip, I can't wait. It is going to be tough. I've played there before for there in the Under-19s World Cup, I played first class out there and then with the Lions.

"It is very different, they play completely different cricket. Bowling-wise I found it difficult when I first went and ended up doing quite well.

"The speed, the flight, you can't give it too much flight against these guys because I found bowling to Sri Lankans, no matter what field you had, with a bit of flight they just smashed it."