• Moeen takes ‘short break’

    All-rounder Moeen Ali will leave the game for a brief period after being dropped by England.

    Ali’s performance in last week’s Ashes series opener at Edgbaston in Birmingham was mediocre. His last 10 innings, which have included four ducks, have yielded a mere 112 runs.

    Omitted from the squad for this week’s second Test at Lord’s in London, he has opted not to play for Worcestershire in English county cricket.

    ‘Moeen is spending a little time away from the middle recharging his batteries and putting in some quality practice time which he feels he needs, and we completely respect,’ said Worcestershire coach Alex Gidman.

    ‘He has had an intense schedule of international cricket involving the World Cup and the start of the Ashes.

    ‘Moeen loves playing for Worcestershire and he gives a lift to everyone in the dressing room when he comes back and plays for us.’

    Ali has been replaced by fellow left-arm spinner Jack Leach in the squad. The uncapped Jofra Archer, meanwhile, will likely come into the XI for the injured James Anderson.

    ‘Moeen sent me a text wishing me all the best. He said he hopes that I do really well. He’s been so supportive of me coming into this environment and helping me with my bowling,’ Leach told the BBC.

    ‘I actually told him to be ready for the third Test, so we had a little laugh.’

    Australia won the first Test on the back of batsman Steve Smith’s twin centuries and spinner Nathan Lyon’s nine wickets.

    Photo: Getty Images

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