Moeen Ali has been ‘croc-ked’ for the second time in two weeks ahead of the Ashes.
But this time there are no fears about the fitness of the England and Worcestershire all-rounder who missed the opening two warm-up games Down Under with a side strain.
For the ‘croc’ in question is a 800 kg crocodile which was fed dead roosters by Moeen and Alastair Cook during a visit to a wildlife park south of Townsville where England play their final pre-Ashes match against a Cricket Australia X1 starting on Wednesday.
Moeen suffered his injury during England’s first practice session of the tour in Perth but says he is now recovered with the first Test in Brisbane just 10 days away.
The 30-year-old said: “I threw a ball and I could feel it (the side) straight away. I just thought it was a little bruising or whatever.
“But we went through the tests and stuff and there were certain movements I couldn’t do, so they said it was a slight side-strain and, when we had the scan, it was exactly that.
“I threw 20-odd balls the other day and was fine. I’m pretty much back to normal again.”
Australia will be defending a 29 year unbeaten record in Test cricket at Brisbane but Moeen is unfazed by the challenges ahead.
Moeen said: “It’s about being ready for that first ball when it’s delivered in Brisbane. Australians like to talk a lot, big themselves up. That’s part of the game. It’s not something that I haven’t had before.
“I’ve heard a lot about Brisbane. It’s something you have to block out. You have to focus on your game and the situation that the team is in.
“I’m prepared the best I can. When you’re out there you rely on your instincts. I know it will be tough, but I’ve always backed my ability.
“I’ve had more time to work on my game. Sometimes when you’re playing you don’t get the chance to focus on yourself.
“Another benefit of not playing those two games is that it makes you hungrier to get out there and be with the guys. I can’t wait to put my whites on and start performing.”