Moeen Ali’s bowling again came under the spotlight on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test, with Geoffrey Boycott suggesting England should look elsewhere for a spinner.
Ali has taken just three wickets during the Ashes series so far and bowled only six overs on day one as Australia closed on 244 for three, having won the toss on a flat pitch.
Such is Joe Root’s apparent lack of faith in Ali as a bowler, the skipper gave more overs to part-time spinner Dawid Malan.
Boycott said on BT Sport: “We have no spinner have we? Moeen only bowled six overs, it’s hard for Joe Root when you don’t have a quality spinner.
“What England had to offer – fast-medium bowling – they did as well as they could and the afternoon session was absolutely brilliant. But it’s difficult to do that all day because it’s in the batsman's favour.
“They need another spinner because Mooen is really a batsman, but they can’t afford to leave Moeen out because they are frightened of the batting.
“They could do with a quality spinner, someone new, like Tom Curran, who has the energy. The selectors at home have to find somebody.
“We don’t have pace and don’t have a quality spinner and that hurts you in the end.
“When the spinner only bowls six overs and the occasional spinner bowls more than him, that tells you everything on a flat pitch.”
Not for the first time in this series, England were made to toil in the field while David Warner and Steve Smith piled on the runs.
Warner, who fortunately earned a reprieve off a Tom Curran no-ball on 99, eventually fell for 103 but Smith looked well set at the close of play unbeaten on 65.