Moeen Ali’s forgettable campaign in the 2019 World Cup squad saw him getting dropped from the playing eleven in the tournament midway. Following the first Ashes Test last year, Moeen Ali faced the axe from the Test team as well. He made 0 and 4 in Edgbaston while picking up three wickets as the hosts went down to Australia by 251 runs. However, former England seamer Steve Harmison has other views.
England and West Indies would resume international cricket via a three-match Test series, commencing from the 8th of July. International cricket has been on a standstill since March due to the COVID-19 health crisis; however, the Caribbeans have agreed to travel to England to play behind closed doors. The first of the three Tests would begin in Southampton while Manchester will play as hosts for the next two.
Moeen Ali took a break from Test cricket while spinners Dominic Bess and Jack Leach competed for the spinners’ spot in the Test team. The 32-year old featured in the limited-overs leg against South Africa in February and announced his intention to don the whites again for England in April. As a result, the spin-bowling all-rounder was also included in the 30-man training squad for the forthcoming series. Uncapped spinner Amar Virdi and Matt Parkinson have also secured a berth.
Moeen Ali’s in my best team, I play him: Steve Harmison
Steve Harmison was firm on playing Moeen Ali for the first Test in Southampton. Harmison stated that from the 30-man squad when picking the best eleven, the off-spinner undoubtedly finds a place in the same. Thus far, the Birmingham-born has scored 2782 runs across 60 Tests and picked up 181 wickets.
“Moeen Ali comes back and for me, he plays at Southampton. If I’ve got a 30-man squad, I’m picking my best team, Moeen Ali’s in my best team, I play him.” Harmison said as quoted by News18, who has taken 226 Test wickets from 63 matches.
The Durham seamer further admitted that Amar Virdi is one candidate that England needs to groom in the spin-bowling department. The 41-year old also hailed Dom Bess for his performances in South Africa and hopes for Jack Leach to recover from his setbacks and be a regular fixture again.
“I like Virdi being in there because he’s one that England need to potentially develop in the spin bowling department. Dom Bess did well in South Africa I was out in South Africa for talkSPORT you had troubles with Jack Leach which is disappointing for Jack and hopefully he’s come over them.” he added.