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Moeen fit to play ahead of Ashes opener

Updated November 14, 2017

TOWNSVILLE: England all-rounder Moeen Ali is ready to play his first Australian tour match in Townsville after recovering from a side strain.

The 30-year-old missed England’s opening two games in Perth and Adelaide but is available for the final warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI starting on Wednesday.

“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.”

It will be England’s last game before the Ashes series opener in Brisbane on Nov. 23.

England are on a 31-year winless streak in Brisbane but Moeen — on his first Ashes tour Down Under — said he is ready for the intensity of the 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.”

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2017