Moeen Ali

Not sure I am a fan of him being approached by Stokes and now ‘weighing up’ whether to return for the Ashes as if he is Warne or Murali. His recent Test record is ordinary and he has shown no appetite for persevering at the long form format or challenging for a Test place so while I am a fan I feel that ship has sailed and we should be looking elsewhere.

Exactly how I feel. If you want a spinner, invest some confidence in youth and get Ahmed in. Give him the support Leach gets and I can see him becoming world class.

First mis-step from the Baz/Stokes partnership.* Feels like we’re going backwards.


*I like their attitude to Crawley even if he should be dropped. Arguably, keeping him in gives the others more confidence in playing Bazball as they know they won’t be dropped for a few failures.

With Stokes crocked you need your spinner to basically hold an end up, and bowl potentially 25 overs a day at no more than 3 runs-per-over, and chip in with the odd 2-fer.

Moeen and Dawson can both do a job here, and Moeen's batting is clearly of a different league.

Moeen has ashes experience too, so is not going to lose all confidence if he is 75 for none when Smith is in form and will then think ‘have some runs myself thanks’ then join the batting fightback. 

Moeen’s Ashes record is ordinary and to be honest I don’t think he does have the mental strength to survive 5 tests where he’ll be under the pump with ball and bat anymore.

Moeen is an experienced and can hold an end up which is quite important when all of your seamers are veterans and Stokes is out of action. Australia have several look left-handers so off spin is best. I would consider asking Sam Curran to come in as the 4th seamer who can hold an end if Moeen doesn't. Root can help out.

Ahmed has been playing in Leics 2nd XI this season. He might have all sorts of tricks up his sleeve that work in India and hotter countries but we are in the land of seam. We still have lush green grass.

I will report back from the India game tomorrow. 

I can see us getting through at least 3 spinners this summer 

and one of those ‘spinners’ will be Liam Livingstone 

Dan Lawrence mystery spin time.

(The mystery being his action)

Does Zafar Ansari post on here?

I'm in favour of the move. The Ashes does not seem like a sensible time to blood someone as inexperienced as Ahmed , it could destroy all confidence and set him back.

The Ashes does not seem like a sensible time to blood someone as inexperienced as Ahmed

It is when you play bazball. This defeatist negativity belongs in the before times, the long long ago. Get the kid in and let him play.

I can see Moeen sloping off after a couple of tests citing mental health issues and someone being thrown in at the deep end with the thankless task of trying to save the series. Better to get that person in early.