WORCESTERSHIRE'S Moeen Ali has been named vice-captain for England's upcoming test match against India.

The 34 year-old takes up the role ahead of Thursday's fourth test at The Oval following Jos Buttler's decision to pull out of the game and Ben Stokes' unavailability.

Moeen's taking up the role marks a remarkable turnaround, having been dropped from the side in 2019 and only playing one test match this winter.

He has previous experience captaining the Worcestershire Rapids in the T20 Blast, as well as Birmingham Phoenix in the Hundred.

England captain Joe Root said: "Moeen is a natural leader and someone who the team gravitate toward.

“He has a brilliant cricket brain. I’m really excited for him, absolutely he’s the right man for the role.”

Going into the game, regular skipper Root is debating whether to stick or twist with his bowling attack, with Chris Woakes and Mark Wood angling to break into a winning side.

There will be at least one change to the team that squared the series with a resounding innings victory at Headingley on Sunday, with Ollie Pope favourite to take the space vacated by Jos Buttler, who has left the squad for the birth of his second child.

But there are decisions to be made among the seamers too, with this summer’s mounting injury problems finally receding enough to leave a surplus of options.

Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and Olly Stone remain long-term absentees but Woakes is raring to go after a frustrating year out of the Test side and Wood has been hitting his straps in training following a shoulder problem.