March 29, 2018 / 7:34 AM / 4 months ago

Cricket: England drop Moeen, Woakes for 2nd test against New Zealand

(Reuters) - England have axed Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes for the second and final test against New Zealand starting on Friday at Christchurch.

Cricket - England Nets - Hagley Oval, Christchurch, New Zealand - March 29, 2018 - England's Moeen Ali. REUTERS/Paul Childs

All-rounder Moeen scored 28 runs in two innings in the first test and failed to take a wicket as New Zealand marched to an innings and 49-run victory.

The 30-year-old also struggled in England’s 4-0 Ashes loss in Australia late last year, scoring 179 runs at 19.88 and claiming just five wickets at an average of 115.

Somerset spinner Jack Leach is expected to make his test debut at Hagley Oval. Batsman James Vince and fast bowler Mark Wood have also been included in the 12-man squad but Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone misses out.

The fitness of Ben Stokes remains an issue. The all-rounder did not bowl in the first test due to a back problem and could play again as a specialist batsman ahead of Vince.

“There’s obviously a couple of choices we have but it’s exciting there are people pushing and making strong cases for themselves,” England captain Joe Root told reporters.

“That attention to detail and the way we approach training is, I think, really important leading into this game so hopefully we can be ready for what’s going to be a big five days.

“I’m very frustrated in terms of the results and how that side of things has gone. We’ve played really good cricket for three days, which doesn’t win you test matches.”

England have lost 10 of their last 12 overseas tests.

Team: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Mark Wood.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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