Moeen axed, Leach returns to England squad for Lord's Test
England replace spinner for second Ashes contest, with the recalled Jack Leach and the fit-again Jofra Archer firming to play
10 August 2019, 12:01 AM AEST
Allrounder Moeen Ali has been dropped from England's squad for the second Ashes Test with spinner Jack Leach called up for the clash at Lord's.
England named a 12-man squad for the second Test, with paceman Jofra Archer selected and expected to replace veteran seam bowler James Anderson, who has been ruled out with a right calf injury.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes
Moeen recorded match figures of 3-172 from 42 overs and scored 0 and 4 with the bat – out each occasion to rival off-spinner Nathan Lyon to make it nine times in his past 11 innings against Australia – in England's 251-run defeat at Edgbaston.
Moeen's performance left former England captain Nasser Hussain questioning whether the allrounder was "shot mentally" despite his success as England's premier spinner over the past three years.
But now Moeen will return to play for Worcestershire, with Leach a strong chance of playing in the second Test at Lord's.
He was named player of the match there last month in the one-off Test against Ireland despite not taking a wicket, having scored 92 opening the batting as the nightwatchman.
Leach, should he play, will be familiar with Australia's top order having taken 5-109 for England Lions in the second innings of their clash with Australia A in Canterbury last month, dismissing Test captain Tim Paine.
Olly Stone, who was named in the 14-man squad for the Edgbaston Test, has also made way from the squad having suffered a back injury.
Archer looks set to come in to the side after successfully making it through a second XI match for Sussex this week.
The 24-year-old claimed 6-27 and struck a century against Gloucestershire, prompting former Australia fast bowler and Sussex coach Jason Gillespie to say Archer "has to play" against Australia at Lord's.
"I’ll be completely honest, and I might be biased as coach at Sussex, but I was surprised he didn’t play the first Test to be perfectly blunt," Gillespie said on Tuesday. "He should have played.
"It’s easy to say that in hindsight but he’s 100 per cent fit, ready to go.
"Personally, I think England missed a trick by not playing him but he’ll certainly play at Lord’s."
Meanwhile, the Australians' tour game against Worcestershire ended in a draw at New Road after rain washed out the final day.
Captain Paine said his side achieved what they wanted during the three-day game, and is paying little attention to England's selection issues.
"I'm not sure, and I'm not too fussed," Paine said on Friday when asked what he is expecting from England at Lord's.
"We need to focus on what we do well and what we can control.
"There's been a lot of talk about changes in their team and changes in conditions, and all that sort of stuff.
"Something we've spoken about constantly is being able to adapt to any side they bring out or any conditions they dish up for us.
"We can control the way we prepare, and the way we want to play and as long as we're doing that then we're giving ourselves the best chance."
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Tour match: Australia draw with Worcestershire at New Road
Second Test: August 14-18,Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval