By India Today Sports Desk: Kevin Pietersen said that England should not look up to Moeen Ali as a wicket-taking option on Day 5 of the opening Ashes Test against Australia at the Edgbaston in Birmingham. Earlier in the game, Moeen injured his spinning finger after an immense workload in the first innings.
Moeen was England’s workhorse in the first innings after he picked up the wickets of Travis Head and Cameron Green, and finished with figures of 33-4-147-2. Moeen bowled seven overs for 24 runs in the second innings on Day 4, but Pietersen said that the spinner would not be effective due to the injury.
"I don't think he is an option, just because of the last over he bowled to Marnus Labuschagne. When you see that image - and I was an off-spinner, albeit not a very good one! - it's not fun,” Pietersen was quoted as saying on Sky Sports Cricket.
"His job is that finger, and every time you grip that ball and it's sore, it's a problem. It's like a bowler with a knee or an ankle problem,” he stated.
"Will he be as effective? I don't think so. But that's also another reason why I think a guy like Cameron Green, if Moeen Ali comes on you should smack him," Pietersen added.
Moeen was picked to play in the Edgbaston Test after Jack Leach was ruled out of the game. Skipper Ben Stokes contacted Moeen, after which the latter made his comeback to the purest format after September 2021.
Going into Day 5, Australia need 174 runs to win the first Test while England need seven wickets. Scott Boland and Usman Khawaja were the overnight batters.