Moeen Ali named England vice-captain for fourth Test against India at The Kia Oval

Moeen Ali named England vice-captain for fourth Test against India at The Kia Oval

Moeen Ali has been named as England’s vice-captain for the fourth Test against India.

The off-spinning all-rounder will be Joe Root’s deputy with wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler missing the game at The Kia Oval from Thursday due to his wife expecting their second child.

Ben Stokes usually acts as Root’s vice-captain but is currently taking time away from the game in order to focus on his mental wellbeing and to rest his left index finger.

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Moeen returned to the England side for the second Test of the India series and has since scored 48 runs and taken four wickets across two matches.

The 34-year-old captained England in a T20 international against Australia in 2020, while he led Worcestershire to the Vitality Blast title in 2018 and also skippered Hundred finalists Birmingham Phoenix this season.

Of Moeen’s appointment, Root said: “Moeen is a natural leader. He is someone the team gravitates towards for a number of reasons but one of them is the way he understands the game.

“You saw the conversations him and Jimmy [Anderson] were having in the last game at crucial points.

“He has a brilliant cricketing brain and has done wonderfully well [as captain] in domestic cricket and for England in the shorter formats.

“I am really excited for him and I think he is absolutely the right man for the role. It is thoroughly deserved with how he goes about the game and what he offers to the team.

“He seemed pretty excited and I am sure he will be looking forward to getting the DRS signal out when I am off the field at some point!”

England drew level in the five-match series against Virat Kohli’s side after completing an innings-and-76-run victory in the third Test at Emerald Headingley in Leeds.

India won the second Test at Lord’s by 151 runs after the first game of the series, at Trent Bridge, ended in a draw.

Watch the fourth Test between England and India live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am on Thursday.

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