By Aaron Hindhaugh • 07 June 2023 • 13:45
Second England cricketer now under investigation over old 'offensive' tweet.. image: Shutterstock
England all-rounder Moeen Ali is set to gear up for one more swansong in Test cricket for England by replacing Jack Leach in the Ashes squad this summer.
Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum were set into overdrive and perhaps a slight bit of panic earlier this week when star bowler and Ahses icon Leach was ruled out for the entire series due to lower back issues which were sustained in a warm-up victory against Ireland.
Leach indeed starred in that game by picking up four wickets as England strolled to victory as they gear up for what will likely be a gruelling and incredibly tense Test series against bitter rivals Australia.
With the sudden removal of Leach from the squad, questions were raised about who could replace the specialised spinner, but not many may have thought someone who claimed he found it ‘really difficult to get into‘ test cricket anymore would be the man to step up.
However, that’s exactly what happened with Stokes and McCullum managing to convince Ali that it was the right thing to do for himself and his country by playing in at least the first two of the five tests.
Rob Key, managing director of England men’s cricket was delighted to have Ali back in the group as he said: “Having had a couple of days to reflect, Mo is excited to join the squad and play Test cricket again.”
Despite having just come out of retirement today, Ali is likely to walk straight back into England’s bowling attack, especially if Stoeks is going to be forced into managing his workload due to his ongoing knee injury.
Also, Ali will be a competent batter, much like Leach was when required, and the former is expected to be placed at eighth in the batting order which will certainly delight Stokes to have greater depth in that part of the squad.
Australia will certainly have to prepare for Ali and what he can bring as on his day he can be a game-changer with both bat and ball boasting an impressive record of 2,914 runs and has taken 195 wickets in 64 tests.
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