England all-rounder Moeen Ali feels that Ravichandran Ashwin will be in consideration for the fourth Test at the Oval, starting Thursday, and said that he was “little bit” surprised on not seeing the India off-spinner so far in the series.
Ashwin was on the bench for all three Tests as Virat Kohli summoned the 4-man pace attack with lone spinner – Ravindra Jadeja, who is a better batsman than Ashwin, as the spin-bowing all-rounder. Now, with the Oval surface historically helpful for spinners, Ashwin stands a good chance to feature in the game.
Moeen Ali also lauded Jadeja for his superb all-rounder skills and hailed the all-rounder’s improved batting over the past few years.
“Yeah a little bit (surprised over Ashwin not playing) but I also feel Jadeja is an amazing cricketer, he is one of my favourite characters in the world,” Moeen Ali said ahead of the fourth Test.
“I would always have Jadeja in my team and I think India after winning at Lord’s would have gone with four seamers (at Headingley) and Jadeja did a great job. He is batting really well. I am sure Ashwin has been considered and will be considered for tomorrow,” he added.
I’m looking forward to the vice-captaincy role: Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali has been named as England’s vice-captain for the fourth Test in absence of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. He said being given this role is “huge” and he is “excited” to carry out his responsibilities as Joe Root’s deputy.
“Yeah sounds amazing, to captain or vice-captain England in any form is huge, and I’m just very excited. I’m obviously not hoping for Joe (Root) to go off the field but if he does go off I’m looking forward to the role.
“I think that’s the beauty of sport in one way, but also I know that obviously Ben and Jos are not here. I am pretty realistic in terms of that. But yeah, things can change quickly and to be given the role I think is great,” the 34-year-old said.
England are boosted by the return of Chris Woakes. India may play Ashwin for a pacer. Also, both Jadeja and Ishant Sharma are fit after there were reports of them being not completely fit.