Adelaide: 20-year-old leg-spinner Mason Crane could make his debut for England in the second Ashes Test against Australia in Adelaide, as the concerns over all-rounder Moeen Ali’s fitness continue to grow. Moeen suffered a cut in his index finger, which is used to impart spin, of his right hand midway during their shocking 10-wicket defeat against Steve Smith-led side at the Gabba, Brisbane.
Though he started the opening match strongly by promptly removing Australia’s top-order batsman Usman Khawaja, he struggled after sustaining the injury and has not bowled since arriving in Adelaide. However, England skipper Joe Root expressed confidence that Moeen would play in the second Test irrespective of he was able to bowl or not.
England will now have to wait until the 11th hour for Moeen to prove his fitness. However, if the spinner failed to prove his fitness in a training session today then he is most likely to hold his spot as a batsman while Crane could be roped in to fill the spin-bowling void. While Moeen remains confident that he will be able to bowl in the upcoming match, there are concerns as to how many revolutions he will be able to put on the ball and how effective he may be.
“At the end of practice we’ll have a clear indication if he’ll be fit to bowl throughout the game. If there’s any more damage to it then we’ll have to make a decision,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Root, as saying.
“His batting has been a huge part of this team for a long time now, so I think he would still play as a batter,” the skipper added.
Root, however, refused to rule out the debut of Crane, who seems to have impressed the England management with his decent performances in the warm-up games.
“It’s definitely not out of the question.It’s important we take everything into consideration at the end of practice. We’ll look at Moeen, see how bad his finger is and look at the conditions,” Root said.
In case Crane was roped in the Ashes squad, then he is most likely to play in place of Jake Ball. England, who are currently trailing by 0-1 in the five-match series, will play their second Ashes Test from tomorrow at the Adelaide Oval.
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