Jonny Bairstow urges England to 'get behind' under-fire Moeen Ali ahead of Ashes finale in Sydney

Mason Crane is pushing for his Test debut as England weigh up dropping Moeen due to his poor form in Australia

Moeen Ali could be dropped for the final Ashes Test in Sydney
Moeen Ali could be dropped for the final Ashes Test in Sydney

Jonny Bairstow believes England should stand by under-fire all-rounder Moeen Ali in next week’s fifth Ashes Test. Moeen has been struggling for form all series, averaging just 19 with the bat and 135 with the ball. But Bairstow said Moeen was “absolutely” still part of England’s first-choice XI and said the selectors should “get behind” him.

“The guy’s the second-fastest ever to 2000 Test runs and 100 Test wickets,” Bairstow said as the England side arrived in Sydney for the final leg of their Ashes engagement, having got the better of a drawn fourth Test in Melbourne. “It’s unquestionable to even think that he’s not in our best XI. He wouldn’t have played the first four Test matches if he wasn’t.

“There’s not many finger-spinners that will come to Australia and bowl teams out. It’s very important that we get behind Mo. He can take a game away from you, and whether it be the next game or the first Test in New Zealand, the capabilities of Moeen Ali are unquestioned.”

Moeen’s trials and tribulations – which stem partly from his promotion to No 6 at the start of the series ahead of Bairstow, only for the pair to swap places again for the Perth Test – have given rise to speculation that with one eye on the future, Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane might be in for a Test debut on what is expected to be a turning Sydney track.

But Bairstow said that even though the series is over England must play their best side, regardless of future considerations. “You’ve got to play your best team,” he said. “We’re still in it to win games of cricket. Whether that’s Mason playing, the XI will be going out to win this next Test match.

Jonny Bairstow believes England should support Moeen rather than exile him

“Yes, the series has gone. But you can see from the spirit that the guys showed in the last Test match that by no means is the foot off the gas. We’re very proud to play cricket for England. We’re indebted to the guys coming out, the best fans in the world.

“We’ve been pretty close in all the Test matches, a session and a half either way. It was exactly the same in Melbourne. To put a substantial total on the board and then to apply ourselves with the ball like we did was a great effort, and in that second innings to have them effectively 16-4 gave us a really good chance to win that Test match.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in