England have decided to include spin bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali to their Test squad ahead of the second game against India at Lord’s. The hosts have suffered to balance the side in the absence of Ben Stokes who has taken an indefinite break to look after his mental health. Even Chris Woakes is nursing an injury and is only likely to be available in the latter part of the series.
Moeen has played only one first-class game in 23 months and has been a part of the ongoing inaugural The Hundred leading Birmingham Phoenix. He seemed to be in good form in the tournament scoring a 23-ball fifty for his team and will be keen on making a good comeback if he gets a chance to play.
The 34-year-old is expected to make it to the playing XI for the Lord’s Test which makes England’s batting a bit strong as well. Moreover, the hosts also get to play a spinner and don’t lose a batsman too. They haven’t played a frontline spinner in the last three Test matches including the Nottingham Test against India which ended in a draw. Moeen is likely to join the training of the team on Tuesday (August 8) according to ESPNCricinfo.
Moeen Ali ready to take up the opportunity
Moeen Ali last played for England in the format back in February during the India tour. He only played a single Test match and flew back home as part of ECB’s rest and rotation policy to keep their players fresh in tough times. Soon after the opening Test ended, England coach and selector Chris Silverwood had opened up about Moeen being included in the Test squad.
After The Hundred game on Monday which Phoenix stunningly won by 93 runs, Moeen Ali was asked about the possible recall by the BBC and he was delighted to don the England whites again.
“Of course if you get the call-up, then playing for England is the highest thing you can get. If I get the call then I’ll be available. It’s a win-win for me, things are going really well for me here and the team,” he said.