Moeen recalled as England ponder second Test changes

By Sports Desk August 10, 2021

Moeen Ali has been added to England's squad for the second Test against India, which starts at Lord's on Thursday.

The hosts escaped with a draw in last week's opener at Trent Bridge, thanks to rain on the final day and the stunning exploits of captain Joe Root – whose 64 and 109 made him the only England player to pass 50 in either innings.

Off-spinning all-rounder Moeen last featured at Test level against India in February, with his previous home outing coming in the 2019 Ashes.

He gives Root and coach Chris Silverwood the option of offering greater balance to the bowling attack while also bolstering that flimsy batting card.

England named a four-man, all-seam attack in Ben Stokes' absence last time out, despite the presence of off-spinner Dom Bess and slow left-armer Jack Leach in a sizeable squad that Moeen's inclusion now swells to 18.

The 34-year-old has been captaining Birmingham Phoenix in the inaugural Hundred and struck 59 off 28 balls in a dominant 93-run win over Welsh Fire on Monday.

He was in a similarly belligerent mood when smashing an 18-ball 43 in a losing cause in Chennai earlier this year, although the most recent of his five Test centuries came in December 2016.

 

That was also against India and it is likely Moeen's success with the ball against Virat Kohli's men is the driving factor in his recall. In 13 Tests against England's current opponents, he has 49 wickets at an average of 31.91.

If he plays at Lord's, Moeen is unlikely to be the only change. Haseeb Hameed is in contention to step into a misfiring top order, with Zak Crawley the leading candidate to make way.

Ollie Pope missed the opening Test due to a thigh injury and could return, while fast bowler Mark Wood might come into the reckoning after Sam Curran and Stuart Broad took one wicket between them at Trent Bridge.

 

England squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Mark Wood.

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