Sunday, November 12th, 2017

County Ace Moeen Gives England Welcome Fitness Boost

Moeen Ali is on course to be fit for the start of the Ashes after England head coach Trevor Bayliss confirmed he would play in the final warm-up game before the first Test against Australia.

The Worcestershire all-rounder missed the opening two matches with a side strain which he suffered on his arrival Down Under two weeks ago – including the 192 run success over a Cricket Australia X1 in Adelaide.

But the 30-year-old, who signed a new five year contract with Worcestershire last month, practiced in the nets during that game with no ill effects.

Bayliss said he would feature in the four-day game – also against a Cricket Australia X1 – in Townsville starting on Wednesday.

The opening Test gets underway in Brisbane on November 23.

Bayliss, speaking after the win in Adelaide, said: “Moeen is fine. He’s been bowling and batting [in the nets] during this match.

“He thinks he could have played in this match. No concerns there, he will be playing in Townsville.”

With Ben Stokes absent from the tour and Steven Finn and Jake Ball injured, Moeen’s return to fitness is a welcome slice of good news for England.