Callum Ferguson believes Moeen Ali can be England’s ‘X Factor’ in the Ashes Series which gets underway with the first Test at Edgbaston today.
The Australian batsman will be keeping a keen eye on the five game contest over the next month and a half and is expecting plenty of banter with his Worcestershire team-mates.
But he is tipping Rapids Vitality Blast winning captain Moeen will have a “big role to play” in the eagerly awaited series.
Ferguson said: “I love Mo. He has been fantastic to play with here and is a guy that’s really been welcoming to me at Worcestershire and I really hope he does well – and I hope Australia win comfortably!
“He is someone who will play a big role in this series. He bowls really well in English conditions particularly.
“I think his batting will be something Australia have got to keep an eye on.
“He hasn’t made as runs recently as he probably would have liked but if he clicks he is a dangerous player especially in and amongst the middle order England have already got that is up and running at the moment and in good form.
“Not just for his bowling but his batting, is going to be a real X Factor for England and someone that Australia will need to be wary of.
“That’s what I really love about him, he really does stand up, and he likes to prove a point – and I think this is a series where he will want to prove a point.
“It’s a massive series, it’s one that is going to be very tight, and I’ve seen him stand up in some tight games on the international stage and domestically with Worcestershire.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing him do too well – not just too well!
“He is a really humble guy and a player who doesn’t get ahead of himself. He certainly has the confidence and the swagger that you need but he certainly doesn’t brag and carry on and I like how really humble he is about his cricket.”
Ferguson added: “Am I expecting stick from the lads over the Series? I reckon there will be some over the next few weeks.
“I’m looking forward to our boys having your guys 20-5 in the first session after winning the toss and deciding to bat
“Daryl Mitchell and I will be at each other (over the Tests) for the rest of the summer I think! I’m predicting a 2-1 win to Australia because I think rain might have a say in a couple of games.”