England made a proactive move and dropped Moeen Ali from the squad for the second Ashes Test against Australia starting August 14. He has been replaced by Jack Leach of Somerset, the left-arm spinner who came to the fore against Ireland two weeks back as a nightwatchman opening the innings.
Moeen had a forgettable Test at Edgbaston, picking up just three wickets and lookiy largely ineffective with the ball on a deteriorating wicket. With the bat, he made 0 and 4 and seemed all at sea against Nathan Lyon who has dismissed him nine times in the last eleven innings.
With James Anderson ruled out, Jofra Archer, who is part of the 12-man team, is set to make his Test debut. Archer had proven his fitness by turning up for Sussex second XI and taking 6/27 aside from a run-a-ball hundred.
Olly Stone also misses out from the team while Sam Curran retains his spot. It could be between Curran and Archer in a one-on-one showdown to replace Anderson at Lord’s. Leach, being the sole spinner in the team, is set to play while one of Curran or Archer could slot in as back-up to Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes.
Surprisingly, the hosts chose to stick with Joe Denly for this Test despite there being concerns surrounding his ability against the red ball against quality pace attacks. This means that Joe Root could well continue at no 3 with Denly at 4 and Jason Roy and Rory Burns opening the innings.
England squad: Joe Root (capt), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes