Moeen Ali rushes back to England camp just hours after his wife gives birth
MOEEN ALI has rushed back to the England camp to try to reclaim his World Cup place — just hours after his wife gave birth.
All-rounder Moeen drove from Birmingham to Southampton last night and will practise today on the eve of tomorrow’s tie against the West Indies.
After being dropped from the victory over Bangladesh last Saturday, Moeen, 31, is desperate to get back into the starting XI.
His wife, Firuza, gave birth to their second child — a daughter called Haadiya — yesterday morning.
They already have a son. Moeen’s case for a return is helped by his impressive record in Southampton, where he has taken 17 wickets in two Tests.
He normally plays in white-ball cricket at the ground because the big boundaries suit his spin bowling.
But the recent damp weather and overcast conditions might persuade England to stick with Adil Rashid as the only spinner.
Moeen and Rashid are virtually inseparable and head coach Trevor Bayliss describes them as the Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson of spin bowling because they constantly swap ideas.
Bayliss said: “Mo will be at practice and available for the match.
“We played only one spinner in the previous game and felt that Rash, with his ability to spin it both ways on those smaller grounds, had more opportunity of taking wickets. You can’t really argue with the result.
“We’ll discuss whether to play two spinners here. We normally do but it will depend on the conditions. Mo and Rash are very close. Mo’s very good for Rash and the other way round.
“As the two spinners, they talk throughout a one-day game like Broad and Anderson do in a Test match.
most read in cricket
“It’s non-stop chatter. Not just tactics but how they’re bowling.
“I don’t think the pitches so far have helped spin bowlers much but, as we go farther into the tournament perhaps with drier surfaces, guys like Rash and Mo might come into their own.”
Jos Buttler, who did not keep wicket against Bangladesh after aggravating a bruised hip while batting, will play against West Indies but Jonny Bairstow could take the gloves again.