STEVEN FINN and Moeen Ali will both miss the first two tour matches of England’s Ashes campaign after scans on their respective knee and side injuries.
Both were already ruled out of the first fixture, a two-day match against a Western Australia XI in Perth this weekend.
Scans have indicated Finn’s injury is not as bad as was first feared.
Even so, his further involvement in the tour will depend on continued assessment of his injury “over the next seven days,” while the England and Wales Cricket Board is confident key all-rounder Moeen will be back in full training by the middle of this month.
Moeen will therefore have just one match at the most to prepare for the first Test in Brisbane on November 23, and will miss England’s chance to acquaint themselves with day-night conditions in Adelaide — where they first face the CA XI and then return at the start of next month to take on Australia.
As they readied themselves without fast bowler Finn and Moeen for their opening fixture at the Waca, captain Joe Root returned fire on the pre-Ashes warning shots which Australia have started aiming in the tourists’ direction.
Root’s opposite number Steve Smith joined a home chorus over recent days on the prospect of reopening the scars England suffered in the 5-0 whitewash defeat on their last Ashes trip four years ago.
“There’s been a lot of talk about last time round,” he said.
“We’re a completely different side, and so are they.
“Of course, they’ll try to bring up all sorts of stuff like that. But we’ve obviously played a lot of cricket since then and have played Australia as well — and that went quite well for us.”