Moeen Ali and his England team-mates fly out to South Africa later today (Thursday) with the Worcestershire all-rounder poised to play his 20th Test at Kingsmead in Durban on Boxing Day.

The 28-year-old has had just a week back in England after the series of Tests, ODIs and T20s against Pakistan in the UAE.

The Proteas, ranked number one in the world, will provide a new challenge for Moeen at Test level.

He has played in all but one Test since making his debut against Sri Lanka at Lord's in May 2014, missing just the opening match of this year's three game series in the West Indies through injury.

Moen's Test appearances have come against Sri Lanka (2), India (5) in 2014 and the West Indies (2), New Zealand (2), Australia (5) and Pakistan (3) during 2015.

England, who are ranked fifth in the Test ratings, will play two warm-up matches against a South African Invitational X1 on December 15-17 and December 20-22.

The Boxing Day Test will be the first of four against South Africa for Moeen and Co before they do battle in five ODIs and two T20Is.

England then fly home after the final T20I on February 22 but it will again be only a short stay on home soil before the ICC World T20 tournament gets underway in India on March 11 through to April 3.

*Joe Clarke and Ross Whiteley will be part of the Lions squad in action in today's second T20 match against Pakistan 'A' in Dubai.