Moeen unlikely to bowl against CA XI

Moeen Ali is likely to feature as a specialist batsman when he leads England in their two-day tour match against a Cricket Australia XI.

The all-rounder has been hampered by a cut on his spinning finger and struggled to make an impact with the ball as England suffered defeats in the first two Ashes Tests.

It had been assumed Moeen would look to get plenty of overs under his belt after he was named as captain for this weekend's tour game.

Yet he was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying: "I probably won't bowl this game. Just so my finger has more time. It needs to heal. As soon as I start bowling, it starts to rip a little."

Moeen continued: "I'm a finger spinner. It's the one thing I need to be 100 per cent. I ripped it in the first game and it's not been easy. I didn't score many runs or take many wickets in Adelaide, so it was a tough game.

"I need a bit more time for healing. It is healing now. I didn't bowl much in the second innings in Adelaide, which was actually quite good for my finger, and, hopefully, another five or six days' rest will be quite good for it."

Already two-nil down in the five-match Ashes series, England's prospects appear gloomy and defeat in Perth would end their hopes of retaining the famous little urn.

"Two-nil down isn't great," acknowledged Moeen. "But we've still got a chance.

"It's a slight chance, but we've a good enough team and we've shown enough fight to show we can compete and get back into the series."

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