Moeen Ali feels confident he can contribute with the ball in the upcoming Test series against New Zealand despite a few niggling injuries (New Zealand 11/8, Englanf 5/4, draw 15/4 – Match Betting – 1st Test).
The 30-year-old, who was initially drafted into the England side in 2014 as a batting all-rounder, has taken 133 five-day wickets at an average of 40.24.
He has made regular contributions with the ball over the past few years, but suffered with blisters to his spinning finger during the Three Lions’ 4-0 Ashes defeat Down Under, making little impact in the series.
That particular problem seems to have sorted itself out although the Worcestershire man has also been complaining of a sore shoulder.
Nevertheless, he took three wickets and got through 21 overs against a New Zealand XI on Friday and is upbeat about his chances of facing the Kiwis.
“I think I’ll get through this series and I’ll be fine – because the first one is pink ball, and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to get any worse,” he said. “I think it’s just the red Kookaburra ball – the seam seems to be a lot sharper.”
It was England’s turn to bat in the two-day game on Saturday and Joe Root helped himself to 115. Mark Stoneman made 48 and Dawid Malan 45 (Root 5/2 – Top England Batsman – 1st Innings).
Ben Stokes is on track to retake his place in the side after making 27 although James Vince missed the chance to impress with the bat, making just five runs, as the tourists completed their preparations for next week’s pink-ball challenge in Auckland.
Odds subject to change.