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BAYLISS BACKS CRANE TO CUT IT AT TEST LEVEL

Hampshire leg-spinner looks set to make his England debut in Sydney

England coach Trevor Bayliss has dropped the biggest hint yet that Mason Crane is set for a Test bow in Sydney.

The young Hampshire leg-spinner looks increasingly likely to be given his first cap in the fifth Ashes Test, which begins at the SCG on Thursday, in place of the out-of-form Moeen Ali.

English leggies have notoriously found life in Australia difficult but Bayliss is confident of Crane's abilities and capacity to step up as the tourists aim to finish a difficult series on a high.

"There's maybe no time like the present to find out," Bayliss said when asked if Crane is ready for Test cricket.

"We think he's a guy that has got the goods, and the more he plays at this level the better he will get.

"You've got to start somewhere."

Moeen Ali could lose his place in the England Test side in Sydney

Moeen's struggles with bat and ball Down Under have brought significant criticism from ex-players and pundits, but Bayliss has backed the all-rounder to recover from a disappointing two months.

"At the moment, the number of runs and wickets makes (this series) one of his lows," said the coach.

"But just a couple of months ago, we were singing his praises as one of the best allrounders in the world.

"He's different to (Australian off-spinner Nathan) Lyon, who gets over-spin. Mo doesn't, and things don't happen as quickly without the bounce that Lyon gets.

"Mo is a free spirit, and one or two shots or wickets and he will be off and running. So I'm not concerned long term."

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