England's Moeen Ali taking a short break from all forms of cricket after Ashes omission

Press Association Sport 17:27 13/08/2019
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Moeen Ali (l) was dropped for the second Ashes Test.

England all-rounder Moeen Ali is taking a short break from all forms of cricket after being omitted from the squad to face Australia in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s this week.

Moeen contributed just four runs in the opening Test defeat at Edgbaston and offered neither control nor a consistent threat with his off-spin in taking unflattering figures of two for 130 in 29 overs in Australia’s second innings.

He was therefore overlooked in favour of slow left-armer Jack Leach at the ‘Home of Cricket’, and on Tuesday Moeen’s county Worcestershire announced he would now take a “short break from action”.

Worcestershire first-team coach Alex Gidman said on the club website: “Mo is spending a little time away from the middle recharging his batteries and putting in some quality practice time which he feels he needs, and we completely respect.

“He has had an intense schedule of international cricket involving the ICC World Cup and the start of the Ashes.

“Mo loves playing for Worcestershire and he gives a lift to everyone in the dressing room when he comes back and plays for us. We look forward to when he returns soon.”

Moeen is the world’s leading Test wicket-taker over the last 12 months, with 48 scalps in 10 matches at an average of 25.27, yet he has struggled for form in recent outings.

Indeed, he was dropped as the World Cup reached a conclusion over concerns about his batting.

In Tests, he has registered seven single-figure scores in his last nine innings, with his career average dipping below 30.

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England skipper Joe Root cannot wait to unleash Jofra Archer against Australia

Press Association Sport 17:20 13/08/2019
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Jofra Archer could make his England Test debut at Lord's.

Joe Root has no problem unleashing Jofra Archer on Australia as England hope to level the Ashes series during the second Test at Lord’s.

The 24-year-old paceman was named in a 12-man England squad alongside spinner Jack Leach and looks certain to make his Test debut on Wednesday.

And captain Root is excited to see what Archer can bring to red-ball cricket after starring during the victorious World Cup campaign.

Root told a press conference: “He is certainly very confident and that’s great to see in a young guy, as he should be after the World Cup.

“And, as he made very clear, it’s his preferred format so again I’m very excited to see at the start of his journey.

“If anything, it will motivate him and when he gets the chance he will be desperate to prove to everyone how good he is. That’s what you want and he won’t shy away from the challenge.”

Root was full of praise for left-arm seamer Sam Curran, who could also line-up at Lord’s after Moeen Ali was dropped.

Root added: “Sam is a brilliant talent and can change the game with bat and ball.

“His record is fantastic and has had a huge impact in most of the games he has played and is a promising young talent who I’m sure will play a huge amount of Test cricket.”

Shortly before the press conference started, Moeen’s county Worcestershire announced the all-rounder would take a short break from cricket following a demanding schedule in recent months.

Root said: “It is not the last time we have seen him. Mo is a fine cricketer.”

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James Pattinson left out as Australia name 12-man squad for second Ashes Test

Press Association Sport 17:13 13/08/2019
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No place for James Pattinson in the Australia squad.

Australia have left pace bowler James Pattinson out of their 12-man squad for the second Ashes Test against England, with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood vying for recalls.

Pattinson was part of the team that won by 251 runs at Edgbaston, taking two wickets on his first Test appearance in almost three years.

Cricket Australia confirmed all players were available for selection, but, with Pattinson’s longstanding fitness problems and the next two Tests coming back to back, the decision to stand him down appears to be a case of workload management.

Regardless, they are selecting from a position of strength. Left-arm quick Starc was the top wicket-taker at the recent World Cup with 27 and Hazlewood was left out of the tournament entirely to get him fit and ready for this series.

The latter is understood to be winning the selection battle after tuning up with three for 34 in last week’s tour match at Worcester, but the final decision will not be revealed until the toss.

Speaking on Monday, head coach Justin Langer spoke of the good luck Australia had in having all of their pace attack ready to go.

“What is fortunate at the moment is we’ve got six fit and healthy fast bowlers,” he said.

“I’ve been coaching for about 10 years now and I can’t ever remember having that luxury, but it could change like that so we’re not getting carried away with it.

“The fact that we had Josh and Mitch on the bench in the last Test match, it doesn’t happen very often.”

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