Moeen Ali to lead England XI in Perth warm-up
Dec 07,2017 , 05:47 PM IST
Perth [Australia]: Moeen Ali has been named the captain of the England XI, which will play a two-day warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI at Richardson Park in Perth this weekend.
Moeen is the only man from England Test team defeated in Adelaide to play in the game. The England camp insists that he has recovered from a cut finger, which had compromised his effectiveness in Brisbane. Moeen did not bowl much ahead of the Ashes Test series due to a side strain, which limited his involvement in the warm-up matches.
As a result, he has been comprehensively out-bowled by his Australian counterpart Nathan Lyon in the series.
The variation in performance between Moeen and Lyon has been one of the key differences in the series to date. While Australia have been able to rest and rotate their seamers to maintain an attacking edge to their game (Lyon has conceded just 2.29 runs per over and taken a wicket every 59.50 balls), Moeen has failed to pose much threat (he has taken a wicket every 189 deliveries) or control the run-rate as much as England would have liked (he is conceding 3.11 runs per over).
England hope that Moeen will gain some rhythm and confidence from the two-day match with the coach, Trevor Bayliss, and the captain, Joe Root, suggesting he will retain his place for the Perth Test.
Moeen will be joined in the side by the five members of the England squad who did not feature in the Adelaide Test (Gary Ballance, Ben Foakes, Mason Crane, Jake Ball and Tom Curran), while six members of the England Lions squad (Ben Duckett, Keaton Jennings, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone and Mark Wood) have also been included to make-up the rest of the team.
Perhaps, the most intriguing of those inclusions from the Lions is Wood. If he is able to prove his fitness and bowl at his full pace, he could be added to the squad and could play a part in the Ashes later. Leach, the left-arm spinner, is also included, alongside spinners Crane and Moeen.
The 12-man squad for England XI is as follows: Moeen Ali (captain), Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes (wk), Keaton Jennings, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone and Mark Wood.