Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Ashes 2017: Graeme Swann piles pressure on struggling England all-rounder Moeen Ali

Graeme Swann piles pressure on struggling England all-rounder Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali has only taken three wickets during the 2017-18 Ashes series (Picture: Getty)

Graeme Swann says England all-rounder Moeen Ali ‘cannot play’ the final Ashes match in Sydney unless he impresses on day five of the Boxing Day Test.

Moeen’s struggles in Australia have continued during the ongoing match in Melbourne; he has bowled 15 overs without taking a wicket and made just 20 after a frenetic 14-ball innings.

Ashes recap: Warner, Smith and rain halt England’s pursuit of MCG victory

His tour started on the wrong foot as he suffered a minor side strain shortly after arriving Down Under that ruled him out of England’s first warm-up game.

Moeen, who has claimed just three wickets during the series, was also struggling with a blistered finger in the first two Ashes Tests.

Graeme Swann piles pressure on struggling England all-rounder Moeen Ali
Moeen has also struggled with the bat in Australia (Picture: Getty)

‘I would like to see Moeen Ali chip in with a couple of wickets tomorrow, for him more than anyone else,’ Swann told BT Sport.

‘He’s had a really quiet game again and cannot play in Sydney unless he does something tomorrow.

‘I think he might be the one to kick-start it. Rip one through Steve Smith and then Jimmy [Anderson] will mop up the rest.’

Michael Vaughan believes England’s hopes rest in their pace attack, however, after nearly 40 overs were lost on day four because of rain.

Graeme Swann piles pressure on struggling England all-rounder Moeen Ali
England improved in the fourth Ashes clash at the MCG (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s still winnable but I don’t think England can afford any more rain,’ the former England captain said.

‘I’ve got a funny feeling they could have a chase of around 120 runs off the last 20 overs.

More: Cricket

‘I think it’s down to the four quicks with the reverse swing. The new ball will be due in 30 overs so they will have another bite at the cherry there.

‘I can’t see Australia scoring very quickly so I’m going for a nipper at the end of the day with a small chase.’

MORE: David Warner, Steve Smith and rain halt England’s pursuit of MCG victory

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