'Looking in really good shape' - England coach Jeetan Patel hopeful of Moeen Ali's return for third Ashes Test
Moeen split the skin on the top knuckle of his spinning finger during the Edbaston Test.
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England spin-bowling coach coach Jeetan Patel is hopeful that veteran all-rounder Moeen Ali will be fit to make his return in the third Ashes Test, which is slated to begin from June 6 at Headingley. Notably, the cricketer hurt his bowling finger in the first Ashes Test and could not take part in the second match at Lord’s. In his absence, Joe Root took charge of the spin department but an absence of a proper spinner was felt as Australia were all over England with the bat.
Meanwhile, speaking about Moeen’s progress, Jeetan stated that the cricketer is bowling brilliantly in the nets and is expected to make a strong comeback in the next match. He added saying that his fingers look good and the rest of few days will help him make a strong comeback.
“Fingers crossed that in the next couple of days, he gets to rest it and he gets to Headingley and he's ready to go. It was pretty disgusting at the end of the Test… we've tried to look after it as much as we can. It's looking in really good shape; it's healed really, really well,” Patel was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“Mo hasn't bowled 30 overs (in a day) in a while and that was always going to be part of the risk of bringing him in. But we knew that and he knew that - and he still said yes, and we still asked him. Is there a way to look after your fingers? Just bowl. It's probably the only way to do it: bowl regularly. He bowls four overs a game so he's probably not used to it and he hasn't bowled with a Dukes for two years,” Patel added.
Notably, English skipper Ben Stokes previously mentioned that the team was desperate to have Moeen in the squad for the second Test but the he failed to recover in time. He bowled 47 overs across two innings at Edbaston in the first Test, picking up three wickets for 204 runs.