Nepal | January 24, 2020

Archer and Leach called up as England drop Moeen


FILE: England’s Jack Leach in action. Photo: Reuters

LONDON: All-rounder Moeen Ali has been left out of England’s squad for the second Ashes test against Australia next week after a disappointing display during a crushing defeat in the opener.

As expected, fast bowler Jofra Archer was included in the 12 and looks poised to make his test debut in the absence of England’s record wicket taker James Anderson.

The veteran Anderson injured his calf again on the first day of the opening test at Edgbaston which Australia won by 251 runs — their first win at the ground since 2001.

Moeen made only four runs in two innings at Edgbaston and his exclusion means left-hander Jack Leach, who batted impressively to score 92 as a night watchman against Ireland the week before Moeen also failed, will likely take over England’s spin bowling duties at Lord’s.

Moeen has reached 50 only once in his last 16 test innings and has also struggled to make an impact with the ball in the previous series against Australia.

Somerset left-arm orthodox spinner Leach has taken 20 wickets in five tests.

While the loss of Anderson is a major blow to England’s hopes of regaining the Ashes, the prospect of Archer steaming in to bowl his 90mph deliveries will excite England’s fans.

The Barbados-born pace bowler made a huge impact at the World Cup when he was England’s leading wicket-taker and bowled the dramatic Super Over at Lord’s which sealed the title for the hosts over New Zealand.

Archer missed the first test as he recovered from a side strain but proved his fitness when he took six wickets for 27 and scored a century in a Sussex second XI fixture this week.

Olly Stone, who was included in the squad for the Edgbaston test but did not play, is ruled out with a bad back.

Leg spinner Adil Rashid has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a chronic shoulder injury.

The second test starts on Aug. 14.

England squad: Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.


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