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Moeen could play as specialist batsman, says Root

England's Moeen Ali (left) and captain Joe Root

Adelaide, December 1: Moeen Ali may be unable to bowl in the second Test due to a finger injury but could still play as a specialist batsman, England captain Joe Root has said.

Moeen suffered a cut in the 10-wicket loss to Australia in the first Test in Brisbane and has not bowled since the tourists arrived in Adelaide ahead of what will be the first day-night match in Ashes history, starting on Saturday (December 2).

If he is deemed unfit to bowl, leg spinner Mason Crane could be handed a debut, but Moeen may yet be retained due to his importance in the middle order, with paceman Jake Ball seemingly at risk of being dropped.

"We'll have to look at the situation with Moeen and see how bad it is, look at the conditions, but it's definitely not out of the question," said Root.

"With Moeen's finger, I think the decision was to give it an extra day of trying to rest it and make sure it's as ready as it can be.

Moeen Ali - player profile

"We'll have another look at things after practice and see how he is then and see if there's any more damage to it and we'll have to make a decision from there.

"It would be wrong to look too closely into it without knowing the full details.

"At the end of practice we'll have a clear indication of whether he'll be fit to bowl throughout the next game.

"His batting has been a huge part of our team for a long period of time now. I think he would still play as a batter."

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Friday, December 1, 2017, 14:30 [IST]
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