England spinner Moeen Ali is expected to make a comeback in the third Ashes Test after sitting out the ongoing second Test at Lord’s. The developments were reported by the cricket news website ESPNCricinfo. Moeen had spilt the skin of his spinning finger’s top knuckle in the first Test at Edgbaston.

England has asked Moeen to come out of retirement after Jack Leach suffered a stress fracture in back before the start of five-Test series against Australia. Ali, meanwhile, has bowled alongside leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed, his backup for the second Test, on the practice strip at Lord’s.

England spin coach Jeetan Patel was very happy with Ali’s recovery and said, “It’s the best I’ve ever seen him bowl,” reported ESPNCricinfo.

“Fingers crossed that in the next couple of days, he gets to rest it and he gets to Headingley and he’s ready to go,” Patel added. “It was pretty disgusting at the end of the Test… we’ve tried to look after it as much as we can. It’s looking in really good shape; it’s healed really, really well.”

Mooen had returned the figure of 3/204 in 47 overs in the first Test which England went on to lose. It was Moeen’s injury that also played a part in hosts going for a green pitch at Lord’s. England skipper Ben Stokes, however, had said that Moeen’s availability would have made a difference to their request.

 “It would have been a completely different conversation if Mo hadn’t had his finger issue that he did last week,” Stokes had said.

In the second Test, England have opted for an all-pace attack with Josh Tongue making it to the playing XI as the fourth pacer. Australia, however, remain on top and are favourites to win the second Test as well.

After scoring 416 in the first innings, the visitors bowled England out for 325. Australia currently are 222/5 in their second innings at lunch on day four and have a lead of 313 runs.

 

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