England receive Mooen Ali boost ahead of Townsville warm-up
England have received a much-needed boost in their Ashes campaign in Australia with all-rounder Moeen Ali declared fit for the warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI in Townsville.
Moeen missed the first two warm-up games in Adelaide and Perth after picking up a side strain but now has regained full fitness and will be available to face CA XI in the final tour game that will kick-off on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old is hoping to spend time in the middle before facing Australia in the first Test in Brisbane.
"I am good. It’s just a slight strain on my side from throwing," Moeen told reporters on Monday.
"It was a bit frustrating but also not a bad thing, you get a lot more work done.
"I feel like I am ready to play and I can’t wait to spend time in the field.
"We have got four days of cricket ahead. I can get a bit of game time in my system and then be ready to play, hopefully, at the Gabba."
The last time England have a won game in Brisbane was in November 1976 and since then they have lost five games and managed two draws.
England's draw in Brisbane during the start of the 2010/11 tour of Australia set the tone for the remainder of the series which they went on to claim and Moeen believes the first Test will once again be the key for their fortunes of retaining the Ashes series.
"I’ve heard a lot about Brisbane,“ said Moeen. ”It’s something you have to block out. You have to focus on your game and the situation that the team is in.
"I‘m prepared the best I can. When you’re out there you rely on your instincts. I know it will be tough, but I’ve always backed my ability."
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