SPINNING OPTION: Moeen Ali is recalled by England for second Test
Moeen Ali is recalled by England for their second LV=Insurance Test Match against India at Lords as they boost their spin options.
The 34-year-old all-rounder has played only one Test in the last two years, against the Indians in Chennai almost six months ago, but will link up with the team at Lord’s.
England were outplayed for large periods of the drawn series opener at Trent Bridge last week and believe Moeen can rebalance the side in the continued absence of fellow all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes.
A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board read: “Worcestershire spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali has been added to the England Men’s Test squad for the LV= Insurance second Test against India at Lord’s starting on Thursday.
“Ali, 34, last played Test cricket in February in the second Test in Chennai during England’s tour of India. He will join the Test party later today and will train this afternoon with the England squad.”
Moeen has not played a first-class game since his previous Test appearance in February, during which he took eight wickets and hit a second-innings 43 in a losing cause.
On both occasions in that match he dismissed India captain Virat Kohli, though he played no further part in the series having taken up a scheduled rest period as part of the ECB’s rotation policy.
Since then he has resumed his status as a white-ball specialist, most recently as Birmingham Phoenix captain in the inaugural season of The Hundred.
He leaves that competition in a blaze of glory, with his team top of the standings and fresh from a brutal 59 against Welsh Fire on Monday which saw him hit five sixes and three fours in just 28 balls at the crease.
Head coach Chris Silverwood had given a heavy hint that Moeen was ripe for a return during his first Test debrief.
Despite already carrying a 17-strong squad, including two spinners in Jack Leach and Dom Bess, he said: “Moeen is certainly under consideration for us. He’s always been part of our consideration.
“If there’s a good suggestion there and it fits and works for the team then I think it’s something we have to consider. That’s something that Joe and I are going to chat about at Lord’s when we sit down at a coffee and go through the potential XI.
“We know he is a fine cricketer and we know he is showing fine form in The Hundred at the moment. As I’ve already said, in balancing the team without Ben Stokes or Chris Woakes…we’ve found ourselves squeezed through circumstance recently that we haven’t been able to do that so we have to keep those options open.”
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