Moeen Ali looks set to replace Adil Rashid in the England Test squad touring the Caribbean. He was not named in the original party after he sustained a side strain during the World Cup, but played in Worcestershire's first Championship match of the season against Yorkshire and reported no reaction after bowling.

He will be assessed by the ECB medical team in the next 24 hours and, if they give him the all-clear, he will fly out to the Caribbean and meet up with the rest of the squad in Grenada ahead of the second Test.

That is likely to spell the end of Rashid's tour, though. While the England management retain high hopes that Rashid, the 27-year-old legspinner, could go in to play an important job for the team in the future, he produced a modest performance in the second warm-up game in St Kitts and missed out on the spinner's spot in the first Test team to James Tredwell. With no games between Tests, there is little further opportunity for him to impress.

While it is possible England could go into one of the Tests with two spinners, Moeen and Tredwell - who claimed his first Test wicket in five years on the second day in Antigua - are both ahead of Rashid. The England management are therefore likely to conclude that he is better off bowling in county cricket rather than carrying drinks in the Caribbean.

That will be good news for Yorkshire. Rashid is one of six Yorkshire players in the touring party and one of four not named in the current playing XI. That situation led Dickie Bird, the Yorkshire CCC president, to chide the England selectors and suggest that some of the squad players could return to county duty.

"It's good for the club that six Yorkshire players have been picked for England," he said. "But if they are not playing, send them home. They'd be better off playing for Yorkshire.

Moeen established himself as England's first choice spinner during the Test series against India when he claimed 19 wickets; only one behind Ray Illingworth's record for an England spinner in a home series against India. He also made a Test century against Sri Lanka and will strengthen England's batting.

England will be careful not to rush Moeen back into service, though. He only bowled 11 overs in the match against Yorkshire and, while the player is hugely enthusiastic to return to the fray, the medical team will want to ensure he can handle the heavy workload possible if he goes into a Test as England's only spinner.

England could send back several more players before the end of the tour, but not until the final Test in Barbados is under way. While Jonny Bairstow, the reserve wicketkeeper, is most unlikely to displace Jos Buttler, England will want to retain him in case Buttler suffers an injury.

Equally Durham quick bowler Mark Wood, who has impressed with every opportunity he has been given, or Liam Plunkett could come into the side if one of the first choice seamers sustains an injury. Adam Lyth, the spare batsman in the squad, is also unlikely to play, but remains an option for the top order in place of Jonathan Trott.

England might like to retain the fast bowlers for another reason. There is already evidence that the competition for places among England's seamers is pushing the established bowlers to improve their performance. While he only finished with one wicket at the end of the second day in Antigua, Stuart Broad bowled with better pace than for some time - he touched 89.3 mph at one stage - and dismissed the dangerous Marlon Samuels with an excellent slower-ball leg-cutter that gripped in the pitch and took the batsman's outside edge.