LONDON (Reuters) – All-rounder Moeen Ali has been left out of England’s squad for the second Ashes test against Australia next week after a disappointing display during a crushing defeat in the opener.
As expected, fast bowler Joffra Archer was included in the 12 and looks poised to make his test debut in the absence of England’s record wicket taker James Anderson.
The veteran Anderson injured his calf again on the first day of the opening test at Edgbaston which Australia won by 251 runs.
Moeen made only four runs in two innings at Edgbaston and his exclusion means left-hander Jack Leach, who batted impressively as a night watchman against Ireland the week before, will likely take over England’s spin bowling duties at Lord’s.
Moeen has reached 50 only once in his last 16 test innings and has also struggled to make an impact with the ball in the previous series against Australia.
Somerset left-arm orthodox spinner Leach has taken 20 wickets in five tests.
While the loss of Anderson is a major blow to England’s hopes of regaining the Ashes, the prospect of Archer steaming in to bowl his 90mph deliveries will excite England’s fans.
The Barbados-born pace bowler made a huge impact at the World Cup when he was England’s leading wicket-taker and bowled the dramatic Super Over at Lord’s which sealed the title for the hosts over New Zealand.
Olly Stone, who was included in the squad for the Edgbaston test but did not play, is ruled out with a bad back.
England squad: Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Keith Weir)