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Joe Root supports Moeen Ali over ‘Osama’ claim

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

Joe Root has backed Moeen Ali over a recent claim that he was called ‘Osama’ by an Australia player during the 2015 Ashes series.

The claim, appearing in an extract from Moeen’s new autobiography, is currently being investigated by Cricket Australia. The comment is said to have taken place during Moeen’s Ashes debut in the first Test in Cardiff.

“He’s such a good guy, everybody loves having him around,” Root told Sky Sports News. “He adds so much to the dressing room environment and obviously as part of the tight-knit team we are – we all get on so well together – you’re always there for each other.

"Australia are the only team I’ve played against my whole life that I’ve actually disliked"

Moeen: “Australia are the only team I’ve played against my whole life that I’ve actually disliked”

“Mo will know he’s got that whole dressing room behind him”.

Moeen excelled after being recalled to the side for the final two Tests against India, contributing a Man of the Match in the fourth Test at the Ageas Bowl with nine wickets in the match, while a half-century at The Oval may have earned the all-rounder an extended run at first drop.

“[He] obviously came in and did a great job in difficult circumstances,” said England’s Test skipper. “He’s given himself the best opportunity [to carry on batting at No.3], that’s for sure. All he can do is continue to work hard, keep playing as he has.

Moeen Ali took nine wickets in his return to the team at the Ageas Bowl

“The beauty of me going up to No.3 was I found out my preferred position is at No.4. It’s important we can build around that now and I can get the best out of myself in that position.”

England’s squad for the tour of Sri Lanka is likely to be announced during the next fortnight, and it’s a challenge Root is looking forward to.

“It’s an exciting time for the side and the guys that will get that chance,” added Root. “We’ve got the opportunity to do something, which in the current era is quite difficult to do and that’s winning away from home.”

England’s tour to Sri Lanka consists of five ODIs, a T20I and a three-Test series. The first ODI takes place on Wednesday October 10, in Dambulla.

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