Moeen Ali back for Ashes series


Ali will now be making a return to Test cricket in place of injured Jack Leach at his home ground….reports Asian Lite News

Off-spin all-rounder Moeen Ali’s return to Test cricket was confirmed while Stuart Broad got preference over Mark Wood as England on Wednesday named their playing eleven for the first Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston.

In the playing eleven announced by England two days away from Ashes series opener, Ali will now be making a return to Test cricket in place of injured Jack Leach at his home ground. The spin all-rounder accepted an SOS call from captain Ben Stokes post Leach being ruled out due to a stress fracture in lower back.

Pacers James Anderson and Ollie Robinson also come back into the side after missing out on the ten-wicket win over Ireland at Lord’s due to nursing their groin and ankle niggles, with Matthew Potts and Josh Tongue making way for the duo.

Broad took a five-wicket haul against Ireland at Lord’s, and will get a chance to outsmart David Warner after having dismissed the veteran Australia opener seven times in ten innings during the last Ashes series in England in 2019.

On the other hand, Wood has not played any competitive cricket since leaving his IPL 2023 stint with Lucknow Super Giants early, to return home for the birth of his second child. Rest of England’s top seven is unchanged, with Ben Duckett and Harry Brook set to make their Ashes debuts, while Jonny Bairstow will be the wicketkeeper.

Australia haven’t won an Ashes series in England since 2001 and will be aiming to do so in 2023 after the last series in 2019 ended in a draw. England, led by Stokes, are looking to regain the urn for the first time since 2015. They are coming on the back of winning 11 of 13 Tests under captain-coach duo of Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

After Edgbaston hosts the first Ashes Test from June 16-20, the rest of the games will take place at Lord’s (June 28-July 2), Headingley (July 6-10), Old Trafford (July 19-23) and The Oval (July 27-31).

England’s playing XI for first Ashes Test: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Jonathan Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, and James Anderson

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