London: England all-rounder Moeen Ali is eyeing a return to the England Test side to play against the West Indies after recovering from a side strain he sustained during the cricket World Cup.
Moeen Ali. Pic/AFP
He has begun his net practice with English county side Worcestershire as a batsman and, while he has yet to bowl, intends to play a two-day warm-up match against Northamptonshire on April 7-8.
He plans to play a full part with bat and ball in Worcestershire's opening Championship game of the season against Yorkshire from April 12.
If he comes through that without any discomfort, he hopes to fly to the Caribbean in time to be considered for a place in the side for the second Test starting on April 21. The final Test of the series begins in Barbados on May 1.
"I'm hoping to play that game against Yorkshire, prove my fitness and fly immediately afterwards," Moeen was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Thursday.
The 27-year-old, who established himself as England's first choice spinner during the Test series against India in 2014, was not named in the original squad for the series in the Caribbean after sustaining a side strain during the World Cup defeat to Bangladesh in Sydney.
But the England management hoped that he would be able to join up with the squad if he recovered in time for a series in which spin is anticipated to play a key role.
In Moeen's absence, the England selectors named offspinner James Tredwell and the uncapped Yorkshire legspinner, Adil Rashid, as the two specialist slow bowlers in the squad.