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Ashes: England’s Moeen Ali may not be able to bowl in Adelaide Test

Moeen Ali may not be able to bowl as England attempt to level the series with victory in the second Ashes Test at Adelaide
Australia v England, second Ashes Test
Venue: Adelaide Oval Date: 2-6 December Time: 03:30 GMT
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and the BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

England have concerns over the fitness of all-rounder Moeen Ali before the second Ashes Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval.

Moeen suffered a cut finger in the 10-wicket first-Test defeat in Brisbane.

If he is not fit to bowl, he will still play as a batsman, but that would leave England with a decision on the make-up of their bowling attack.

The day-night match, which will be played with a pink ball, begins at 03:30 GMT on Saturday.

On the same evening, England meet Australia in the Rugby League World Cup final in Brisbane.

If Moeen does not bowl, England would have to decide between leaving the slow bowling to captain Joe Root’s part-time off-breaks or giving a Test debut to 20-year-old leg-spinner Mason Crane – an option Root said is “not out of the question”.

There is also the possibility that Worcestershire’s Moeen may not be able to bowl early in the game, but would be fit later on.

If England go with four frontline pace bowlers, they are likely to decide between Jake Ball, who played in Brisbane, and the uncapped Craig Overton.

Australia will be unchanged from the side who won the first Test at the Gabba.

Can England bounce back with the pink ball?

England, the Ashes holders, arrive at the Adelaide Oval having competed strongly in Brisbane, only to slide towards defeat on the fourth afternoon.

Only twice before have they won the Ashes in Australia after going 1-0 down.

The day-nighter, the first in men’s Ashes cricket, provides Root’s men with an excellent opportunity to get back into the series.

The weather has changed from stifling heat to cool, damp and overcast. That, coupled with the pink ball and evening conditions, could give England’s seam and swing bowlers greater assistance.

“It’s pretty much like being at home, so hopefully that can play into our hands,” Root told BBC Sport.

“With a bit of moisture around, that might be something that excites our bowlers. It’s important we don’t get too carried away about that, we just have to make sure our skill levels are right up there.

“We have to perform like we did in the first three days in Brisbane. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves the best chance of winning.”

A bit of Ashes history

Day-night Test cricket was first played in 2015 in the hope of boosting attendances and television audiences.

Australia held the inaugural match against New Zealand in Adelaide and have since met South Africa at the same venue and Pakistan in Brisbane, winning all three matches.

England’s only day-night Test was against West Indies at Edgbaston in August, where they won by an innings and 209 runs.

Now, after the Test in the women’s Ashes was played under lights in Sydney in November, the pink ball – changed from traditional red in…

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