Worcestershire all-rounder Moeen Ali looks set to make his test match debut for England in their first test of the summer against Sri Lanka on June 12.
Ali, who is 26-years-old, has been selected in England’s 12-man test squad and would be the first Worcestershire player to represent England in the test arena since the Gareth Batty who played his last test back in 2005.
Speaking to BBC Worcester and Hereford, Ali said he was: “Very pleased, and obviously delighted to get the call,” and added he was looking forward to the challenge.
Ali also explained: "This is what I’ve been playing for, I’ve done well in the four-day stuff, so I feel like I know my own game a bit more”
Ali, who would be considered as a bowling all-rounder, has taken 139 wickets in first class cricket and scored over 6000 runs in only 112 games whilst representing Warwickshire and Worcestershire respectively since 2005.
In 2013 he was the leading run-scorer in the county championship, and has begun 2014 in a similar fashion, scoring 371 runs at an average of 74. Moeen has represented England in six T20I’s, and three ODI’s making 44 on debut and hitting his maiden international 50 in only his third game.
Whilst Moeen’s batting statistics stand up for themselves, there remains doubt about his bowling abilities. Former England spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed, told BBC Sport: “It’s a bit too early for Moeen”.
The former Pakistani international, who took 189 wickets in test cricket also stated: “I'm not sure, as a spinner, he is ready for a five-day Test match.".
Despite Mushtaq’s apprehension of Ali's chances in test cricket, he was also complimentary of the 26-year-old saying: “He will be a good batsman and a very good second spinner, He does have potential. He can spin the ball, he can drift the ball and he is learning the doosra. I was very impressed with him when I worked with him at the T20 World Cup."
Ali was not the only debutant named in the England test squad, with Middlesex opener Sam Robson, and Sussex Pacemen Chris Jordan also receiving the call.
The 12-man squad named to face Sri Lanka:
Alistair Cook (Captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Balance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior, Sam Robson, Joe Root, Chris Woakes.
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