Moeen Ali returns to Test squad: England have added a solitary member to their Test squad for the second Test beginning from Thursday.
England have recalled all-rounder Moeen Ali to their Test squad for the upcoming second Test against India which is scheduled to begin from August 12 at Lord’s.
Ali, 34, had played the last of his 61 Tests against India in Chennai eight months ago. Currently leading Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred 2021, Ali will join the Test squad after scoring 189 runs in six innings at an average and strike rate of 31.50 and 154.91 respectively to be the third-highest run-scorer in the inaugural season.
“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 (12-16 August),” England Cricket Board said in a statement.
Moeen Ali returns to Test squad for Lord’s Test vs India
Ali’s inclusion being the only change in the Test squad provides enough hint that the team management are keen on playing him on Thursday. If the same happens, Ali is likely to replace a specialist batsman as England are unlikely to not play a four-man specialist pacer attack against India.
Hence, one out of Dom Sibley, Zac Crawley or Dan Lawrence might have to make way for Ali in the XI. What will be further interesting to see is Ali’s batting position.
If Moeen plays at Lord’s as a batsman and spinner as part of a five-man attack, England will have to drop a batsman.
They’ll have to drop two if Pope returns and three if Hameed comes back!
— John Etheridge (@JohnSunCricket) August 10, 2021
In 13 Tests against India, Ali has scored 673 runs at an average of 32.04 with the help of two centuries and half-centuries each. Readers must note that Ali has batted at each position from No. 3 to No. 9 in 21 Test innings against India.
Primarily included as a bowling all-rounder, Ali has praiseworthy numbers against India picking 49 wickets at an average and strike rate of 31.91 and 54.9 respectively. Surprisingly for a spinner, he has better Test numbers against India at home than away with his 31 wickets in seven Tests coming at 22.22 and 38.6 respectively.
England squad for 2nd Test against India at Lord’s – Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zac Crawley, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Mark Wood.