All-rounder Moeen Ali will lead the 12-man England XI squad against Australia XI in a two-day warm-up match starting on December 9. Australia will host England in the warm-up contest from December 9 to 10 at the Richardson Park in Perth. "Ali is the only player from the 11 that played against Australia in Adelaide to feature in the match," the England Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement on Thursday.
Moeen is the only man from England Test team defeated in Adelaide to play in the game. The England camp insists that he has recovered from a cut finger, which had compromised his effectiveness in Brisbane. Moeen did not bowl much ahead of the Ashes Test series due to a side strain, which limited his involvement in the warm-up matches.
As a result, he has been comprehensively out-bowled by his Australian counterpart Nathan Lyon in the series.
"He is joined in the 12-man squad with the five players that did not play in Adelaide, plus six players from the England Lions (Ben Duckett, Keaton Jennings, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone and Mark Wood), who are now based in Perth at a training camp."
The variation in performance between Moeen and Lyon has been one of the key differences in the much-hyped series to date. While Australia have been able to rest and rotate their seamers to maintain an attacking edge to their game (Lyon has conceded just 2.29 runs per over and taken a wicket every 59.50 balls), Moeen has failed to pose much threat (he has taken a wicket every 189 deliveries) or control the run-rate as much as England would have liked (he is conceding 3.11 runs per over).
England hope that Moeen will gain some rhythm and confidence from the two-day match with the coach, Trevor Bayliss, and the captain, Joe Root, suggesting he will retain his place for the Perth Test.
Moeen Ali (C), Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes (wicket-keeper), Keaton Jennings, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Mark Wood.
(With Agency Inputs)