Moeen Ali has been recalled to the England squad ahead of their second Test against India at Lord’s, beginning Thursday, August 12. Moeen’s last appearance in the format came against the same opposition – in Chennai, where he’d bagged eight wickets – during England’s tour of India earlier this year.
England, owing to the seam-friendly conditions at Trent Bridge, couldn’t find a spot for a spinner in their playing XI for the first Test although a complete washout on Day 5 ensured a draw. However, there’s little argument that the result has left them with quite a few areas to look upon.
They have now called up Moeen Ali, who is expected to join the side today (Tuesday, August 10) for training. The all-rounder could lend England a much-needed balance in the line-up, especially in the absence of Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes. Apart from his off-breaks, the hosts would seek for a significant contribution in the lower middle-order, given the over-reliance on skipper Joe Root in recent times.
While Moeen has been away from red-ball cricket for a while, he has been in fine touch at The Hundred, where he struck a match-winning 28-ball 59 for Birmingham Phoenix against Welsh Fire on Monday, August 9. His last Test on home soil came two years ago – in the opening game of the 2019 Ashes series at Edgbaston – after which he had taken an indefinite break from the format.
The 34-year-old however, has enjoyed success against India at home in the past, with 31 wickets from seven Tests at an impressive 22.22. The most memorable outing came in Southampton in 2018, where he picked up nine wickets to power his side to a series-clinching 60-run win. In his last Test outing – against the same opposition in Chennai in February 2021, Moeen bagged a four-fer in each innings while also striking an 18-ball-43 in closing moments of a 317-run defeat.
He now looks forward to the upcoming challenge.
“Of course if you get the call-up, then playing for England is the highest thing you can get. If I get the call then I’ll be available. It’s a win-win for me, things are going really well for me here and the team,” he told the BBC.