MOEEN Ali has spoken of his pride after being called up to England’s Test squad for the first time ahead of today’s first Investec Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s.
The 26-year-old Worcestershire all-rounder, who has played three ODIs and six T20s for England, is set to make his Test bow as one of three debutants at the Home of Cricket and Moeen has expressed his delight at being picked for the match.
He said: “I’ve played quite a few Test matches in the back garden with my two brothers and this one is quite different, but it’s a lot more exciting and I know they’ll be proud.
“I know my brothers and my dad will be very happy to see me play. I’m more happy for them than anyone else.
“To do this for people of faith, for the community where I’m from and everyone from Worcestershire, I’m very proud of that.”
After England’s disastrous winter in Australia, there have been wholesale changes to the Test side with Chris Jordan and Sam Robson likely to join Moeen in making their Test debuts.
That would make it the first time since 1988 that three England players have made their Test bow in the same game at Lord’s.
Moeen went on to talk about the new faces that he will hope to line up alongside.
He added: “All three of us were in Australia this winter on the performance programme and I know Sam and CJ really well.
“We’re all excited that we could all potentially be playing.
“I remember sitting in Australia with CJ saying how much we’d love to play Test cricket together and it’s really nice that we’ve both played ODIs and T20s together and now hopefully Test cricket.
“Sam’s one of the best openers I’ve seen on the county circuit, he knows his game inside-out and is a rock-solid batter and hopefully we can see the best of him in this series.”
The Sri Lanka match starts at 11am today with Moeen’s ability to bowl off-spin making him a likely starter.