The England all-rounder Moeen Ali has opted out of the final two Tests against India, to be played at the New Sardar Patel stadium in Ahmedabad, and will fly back home for a break. This comes despite his appreciable performance in England’s 317-run loss to India in the second Test in Chennai.
Moeen Ali was one England spinner who shined brightly with the ball, on his return to England Test team. He has missed the two Tests against Sri Lanka recently after testing COVID positive and was picked for the second Test in Chennai, after seeing the dark-colored pitch.
Ali, picked four wickets each in both innings, ending up with figures of 8-226, in what was his first Test since August 2019. He also struck a quick-fire 43 which included 5 sixes as his team stared down a massive defeat, which helped India drew level in the four-match Test series.
Moeen Ali has chosen to go home: Joe Root
England captain Joe Root confirmed that Moeen Ali has had enough of the bio-bubble and wanted to get out of the hectic life, hence has chosen to fly back home. Ali had to spend 14 days in solitary quarantine in Sri Lanka after he was diagnosed with the UK strain of Coronavirus and then had to spend six-days in quarantine in India.
“Moeen has chosen to go home. It’s come to a point where he wants to get out of the bubble. It’s obviously been a very tricky tour for him. We said at the start if players feel like they need to get out of the bubble that would be an option, and it’s important we stand by that,” said Joe Root.
England has implemented a rotation policy to help manage players’ workload in a busy year that includes a possible 17 Tests and a Twenty20 World Cup. They are also mindful of the wellbeing of the players with so much time spent in bio-secure ‘bubbles’ since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Moeen claimed 4-128 and 4-98, and his tally of 49 runs in the match was more than any of his team-mates.
“It wasn’t about us asking Moeen if he wanted to stay. It was a decision that he chose. We want as many of the players to be available for as long as possible, but we also want them to be comfortable here. He feel he wants to be at home with his family and we completely respect that. This tour has been really difficult for him, dealing with Covid and being in his room for such a long period of time,” added Root.
Moeen Ali to be back for the T20I series later
While England has opted for a rotational policy when it comes to Test cricket, sending back Jos Buttler after the first Test and not including Jonny Bairstow for the first two Tests against India, when it comes to the shortest format of international cricket, England is not taking any chances.
The Eoin Morgan-led side will face India in a series of five T20Is from March 12 to be played in Motera, Ahmedabad itself. Moeen Ali was named in that squad and will also be part of this week’s auction for the Indian Premier League, which runs from April to June.