Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has suggested that Australia should consider using right-handed batsman in an attempt to unsettle England spin-bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali.
Ali, 32, has already played in a home Ashes series once before and appeared to be the target of a pre-conceived Australian plan to attack the spinner.
His figures during the 2015 series further suggested that as he averaged 45 with the ball whilst going at almost four and a half runs per over.
“I think they’ll try and target him,” Ponting said. However, the 44-year-old highlighted the number of potential left-handers in Australia’s line-up as a potential issue.
Wicket-keeping options Matthew Wade and Alex Carey are both left-handed as well as David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Kurtis Patterson and Travis Head.
Ponting stopped short of suggesting that Australia should only select right-handers but suggested whether the batsman is left or right-handed should be considered.
“(Moeen) bowls very well to left-handed batsmen, we know that, as most right-arm off-spinners do.
“If we stacked our middle order full of right-handed batters, then I think he’ll be a lot less effective in this series than if we have it chock-a-block full of left handers.
“They have to pick their best batsmen, but maybe also with an eye on what the opposition might roll out as well.”
The performance of Ali with the ball could be crucial to England’s chances, especially if the hot weather continues and pitches are dry.
The Worcestershire all-rounder picked up 12 wickets in only 2 matches in England’s last home Test series against India.
JOEL KIFFIN / Getty Images