LONDON: Moeen Ali’s place in the England starting XI has been defended by his teammate Jonny Bairstow.
The 30-year-old off-spinner has come in for criticism during the ongoing Ashes series for poor performances with both bat and ball — he has taken just three wickets and averages 19 runs in four games.
But Bairstow says Ali is “absolutely” part of the England team.
“There are not many finger spinners that come to Australia and bowl sides out. It’s important that we get behind Missouri His talent and capability are not in question,” the wicket-keeper said.
In the fourth Test at the MCG, Ali bowled 25.2 wicketless overs and hit 20 from 14 balls.
Speaking to the BBC, his coach Trevor Bayliss also defended his player. “It was only two months ago that we were talking about him as one of the best all-rounders in the world. He’s just like any other player — sometimes you don’t take the wickets or score the runs that you would like. I’ve got full confidence in him going forward,” he said.
England play Australia in the fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney on Thursday.