Moeen Ali claimed eight wickets in the home county championship match against and last week scored 219 and picked eight for 89 against Yorkshire, giving himself a real shot for a place in the playing XI - his first of this summer.
Moeen Ali claimed eight wickets in the home county championship match against and last week scored 219 and picked eight for 89 against Yorkshire, giving himself a real shot for a place in the playing XI – his first of this summer.

England skipper Joe Root backed the team’s decision to recall allrounder Moeen Ali for the fourth Test against India at Southampton saying that the Worcestershire player proved a point with his fine form for his county.

“He’s in fine form, he’s gone back to his county and — what you want from international players is for them to go back and prove a point — and that’s exactly what Moeen’s done in the last couple of weeks,” said Root during the pre-match presser.

Ali claimed eight wickets in the home county championship match against and last week scored 219 and picked eight for 89 against Yorkshire, giving himself a real shot for a place in the playing XI – his first of this summer.

The 31-year-old last played for England in Tests against New Zealand at Auckland in late March and was subsequently dropped for the Test series against Pakistan and the opening three games of the India series.

Ali’s inclusion comes in wake of a spate of injuries to England’s first-choice picks. After allrounder Ben Stokes limped off the field last friday during a T20 Blast game, question mark hovers over his bowling capabilities, and Ali will most likely share Stokes’ burden with the ball.

Lord’s Man-of-the-Match Chris Woakes has also been ruled out due to a thigh strain, with left-arm seamer Sam Curran -Man-of-the-Match in the first Test at Edgbaston –  who proved to be more than handy with the bat, coming in.

What could have also prompted England to chose Ali, who would partner legspinner Adil Rashid for the fourth Test, is the fact that four years ago, it was at Southampton that Ali picked six for 67 in the second innings against India, in a dominating England win.

Meanwhile Jos Buttler will keep wicket instead of Jonny Bairstow, with the Yorkshireman deployed as a specialist number four batsman only despite breaking a finger behind the stumps during India’s crushing 203-run win in the third Test at Trent Bridge.

Victory at Southampton would see England take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

England XI: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wkt), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson