Moeen Ali believes England can win the upcoming Ashes series even if star all-rounder Ben Stokes is not in the squad that travels to Australia in November.
Stokes' role in the upcoming Ashes series has come under serious doubt after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that he and team-mate Alex Hales will not be considered for selection in the international matches until further notice.
The Test vice-captain, however, was named in England's Ashes squad, despite injuring his hand in the incident that led to his arrest in Bristol on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.
The 26-year-old Durham allrounder was released without charge but remains under police investigation.
But Moeen, the man of the series in ODI series against West Indies, believes England can retain the Ashes even if Stokes doesn't feature in the five-Test series.
"I definitely feel we can still win‚" Moeen was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
"Otherwise there's no point going out there. If he [Stokes] is not there we are going to have to play well. We all know how good a cricketer he is and what he can bring to the table. He's one of the main players we have and it would be great to have him out there. But we'll see what happens," he added.
Although the Joe Root-led side are Ashes holders, they have lost two out of their past three tours Down Under by 5-0.
England will now be desperate to hit the ground running when the two sides meet at the Gabba in Brisbane on November 23.