England In Spin As Moeen Ali Takes Break From Test Cricket
England star Moeen Ali looks set to say goodbye to his Test career in order to focus more on his limited-overs career. England’s recent decision to offer the allrounder only a white-ball deal pretty much confirms Ali’s plans. Moeen Ali has reportedly made it clear that he wants to take a step back from the longer form of the game.
According to Daily Mail, Ashley Giles, England’s team director, had to persuade Moeen Ali to not announce his retirement from Tests. Unlike his England teammates, Moeen Ali had a horrible summer with bat and ball. He consequently lost his place in the playing eleven during the World Cup and was then dropped after the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
With age not on his side, the 32-year old is now focusing more on his limited-overs career. Moeen Ali has his sights set on next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia and he is unlikely to add to his 60 Tests and 181 wickets.
“He just wants a little break from Test cricket,” said Giles. “Moeen has been a great servant for this side and that’s why I encouraged him to leave the door open to come back. It’s been a really challenging summer and he might just need to freshen up.”
Moeen Ali’s latest decision will be a big blow for England. The first and foremost is the lack of spin option in their rank. In Tests, they do not have any solid option. They recently tried out Jack Leach in the Ashes but the spinner made more news for his resistance with the bat rather than his ability with the ball.
Giles, meanwhile, did not rule out the possibility of Moeen returning for the two-Test tour of Sri Lanka in March. However, Moeen Ali is more or less confirmed to miss the tour of New Zealand and South Africa before the Sri Lanka tour.
There is a big red-ball question mark, too, over leg-spinner Adil Rashid. The leg-spinner recently admitted the shoulder problem that curtailed his season after the World Cup may lead to him again concentrating solely on the limited-overs game.
“Rash has got stuff to think about too,” admitted Giles. “And with him some of that is physical because Test cricket is more demanding on his shoulder. But for now he’s available for all formats until he tells me otherwise.”