All-rounder Moeen Ali is hoping for a spot in England‘s playing XI after a fine all-round show in the County Championship.
Playing for Worcestershire against Yorkshire, the left-handed batsman cracked a double ton and picked up eight wickets in the match, raising his chances of playing the Southampton Test against India which begins on Thursday.
Ali hasn’t been high on England’s Test priority list since an indifferent tour Down Under and he is therefore keeping his expectations low.
“If I get the nod it will be great, if not then not a problem. I’m just trying to stay in the present,” Ali was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“I’m playing well and I just want to keep up the form with Worcestershire and hopefully with England as well.”
It was the second successive first-class match in which Ali picked up eight wickets. It has been a remarkable turnaround for 31-year-old as he has fully recovered from the finger injury that bothered him during the Ashes.
“If I get the call, then great, but if not, I hope the guys that are playing do really well.
“For me it’s about preparing to play and if I don’t get the call then obviously I will have to go and play county cricket. I will try to improve and get better in the nets.”
England and Nottinghamshire seamer Jake Ball will miss the remainder of the county season because of a back injury.
The 27-year-old, whose international career has comprised of four Tests, 18 one-dayers and two Twenty20s, sustained the problem in the Vitality Blast game against Derbyshire earlier this month.
Ball will therefore be absent for the Outlaws’ quarter-final at Somerset on Sunday, as well as the final four County Championship matches of the campaign.
“I’m extremely disappointed to get the news, I’d hoped to be back for the final parts of the season but unfortunately that isn’t possible,” Ball told Nottinghamshire’s official website.
“I’ll be following and supporting the boys and hopefully we can get through to Finals Day and have a go at defending our title.
“For me I’ll be working hard on my rehab so that I can have a full winter programme and be raring to go for next season.”
Ball has featured in all three formats for England in the last 12 months but seems to have slipped behind several bowlers at Test level.
He remains on the fringes of the limited-overs sides, though, playing in the final T20s against India last month.
Trial matches for the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new 100-ball format will take place next month, the Professional Cricketers’ Association announced.
A series of different formats are set to be trialled for the eight-team city-based tournament – dubbed “The Hundred”, although the name too is yet to be finalised – which is due to take place for the first time in 2020.
The ECB will continue its research when Trent Bridge hosts men’s pilot games on September 16, 17 and 18, with Loughborough the venue for the women’s fixtures.
PCA chairman Daryl Mitchell said: “After the proposed 100-ball format was announced in April, consultation with PCA members has been regular, with numerous conversations and meetings between the ECB, PCA and player representatives to discuss playing regulations.
“The trials will provide an opportunity for players to get involved and to experiment various elements of the playing conditions which will be tested before providing feedback to the ECB on if the format is workable.”
The players that are selected, after co-ordination from their counties and the ECB, will receive match fees and are likely to be allowed to feature on all three days.
Mitchell added: “We are hopeful the majority of counties will have a representative although with some counties having first XI and second XI fixtures it will not be possible to have a player from each of the 18 counties.”
The women’s matches, which will have the same playing conditions as the men’s, will take place on September 14, 15 and 27.