Moeen axed for second Test against New Zealand

Allrounders Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes have suffered the axe after England’s innings defeat to New Zealand in Auckland.

Skipper Joe Root named a 12-man squad a day out from the second Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

The squad includes just one spinner in the form of uncapped Somerset left-armer Jack Leach.

England will either hand a long-awaited debut to Leach or opt for an all-pace attack with Mark Wood joining James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Craig Overton.


With England’s batting weakened by the axing of two allrounders it seems unlikely that England would name an XI that doesn’t include Overton, whose batting has been better than that of the other specialist bowlers.

Moeen ended wicketless in New Zealand’s only innings at Eden Park, which was the last straw for selectors who had backed him throughout a difficult Ashes campaign in which he looked a shadow of the player who gave the Proteas so much grief last summer.

Woakes has had his moments in the England set up but has struggled for consistency with the ball in Test cricket since returning from injury against the self-same South Africans in 2017. He struggled to contribute to the attack with the pink ball in hand, leaving Broad and Anderson to carry the lion’s share of the workload.

Root will name his starting XI at the toss in Christchurch.

England Test squad: Joe Root, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Mark Wood.