Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal feels that Moeen Ali’s inclusion in the playing XI at Lord’s will strengthen England’s batting and bowling departments. Akmal also pointed out that Moeen Ali has an excellent record against India at home with the ball, which could also work to England’s advantage.
The 34-year-old England all-rounder has featured in seven Tests against India at home and has claimed 31 wickets at an average of 22.22 with two five-wicket hauls. He picked up three wickets in the Lord’s Test against India in 2014 and also contributed with the bat, scoring 32 and 39.
Discussing England’s playing XI for the second Test against India at Lord’s, Akmal said on his YouTube channel:
“If Stuart Broad doesn’t play due to injury, I think Moeen Ali will play. He has a very good record against India and has been impressive at Lord’s as well. In seven matches against India in England, he has taken more than 30 wickets. Moeen Ali’s inclusion will strengthen England’s spin department and he can perform with the bat as well coming at 7 or 8. If he plays, it will definitely strengthen the England team. If Broad is fit and England go in with four fast bowlers, Moeen Ali could come in instead of Dan Lawrence. Jos Buttler can bat at six and Moeen Ali at 7. That will make the batting line-up look better.”
Joe Root backed Moeen Ali’s all-round match-winning skills
Earlier, England captain Joe Root had praised Moeen Ali for being a match-winner with both bat and ball. Root said he would give greater responsibility to the cricketer if he plays because Moeen Ali responds extremely well to that.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Root said about the all-rounder’s inclusion in the squad for the second Test:
“Just to go out there and be Moeen Ali. He has the ability to go out there and win games with bat and ball, he’s proven that. He plays his best cricket when he is enjoying it and he’s full of confidence – it certainly looks that way at the moment, the way he has taken to the Hundred, the way he has led Birmingham Phoenix. I would happily give him a huge amount of responsibility if he does play because he responds extremely well to that. He is a leader within the dressing room, a great personality, he drags people with him on the field and in the dressing room, so it will be great to have him back around.”
After the first Test in Nottingham ended in a draw, India and England will meet in the second Test at Lord’s, starting Thursday.