The ECB has announced that Moeen Ali will be the vice-captain of England for the fourth Test against India at The Oval, which begins from Thursday, September 2. Moeen replaces Jos Buttler in the role, after the wicketkeeper had made himself unavailable for the game with personal reasons.
Moeen Ali, who wasn't a part of the Test squad initially, was called-up for the second game at Lord's, which happened to be his first Test appeearance since the 2019 Ashes series at home.
His appointment as the vice-captain comes after Jos Buttler made himself unavailable for the fourth Test due with his wife birth of his second child. Ben Stokes, Joe Root's regular deputy, has currently taken a break from the game to focus on his mental well-being.
"All-rounder Moeen Ali has been named as England Test vice-captain for the fourth Test match against India at the Kia Oval starting on Thursday," ECB stated in an official statement on Wednesday, September 1.
Moeen Ali has been named as our vice-captain for the fourth LV= Insurance Test against India. Congrats, Mo! 👏 pic.twitter.com/4eYRn9WXWv— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 1, 2021
Root lauded Moeen as a great reader of the game, and labelled him as the "right man for the role".
"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," Root said, reported Sky Sports.
"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!"