Moeen Ali, who took an indefinite break from Test cricket following England’s defeat in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, revealed that he felt undervalued in the Test team, a reason as to why he took a break from the format. Moeen further admitted that he'd have to work hard to return to the side.
After being dropped mid-way through the World Cup, things went from bad to worse for Moeen Ali, who returned match figures of 3/173 in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, a game that the hosts lost by 251 runs. Fingers were soon pointed at the all-rounder, who then, in the aftermath of the defeat, announced that he would be taking an indefinite break from Test cricket to get himself into a better mental place.
Five months post the break, the England all-rounder has now shed light on the incident and has revealed that he felt that he was valued way lower in the team than he should have been. Moeen revealed that he thought of quitting Test cricket altogether, but then changed his mind after a conversation with skipper Joe Root.
"I didn't feel as valued as much as I felt I should have been, and there were times when I thought I was going to quit playing Test matches, but I spoke to Rooty and he felt I was still a big part of this team,” Moeen told Sky Sports on Sunday, reported News 18.
"Ultimately it is about if I feel I am ready to play again. I don't want people to feel I am picking and choosing. I know I have to make sure I am fresh and mentally ready to go out and perform.”
In the absence of the 32-year-old in the Test team, both Jack Leach and Dom Bess have put their hands up and staked claims for their selection in the XI ahead of the off-spinner. Mooen admitted that he would have to work hard to get back into the team, but attested that he wanted to come back as a better player and thanked the ECB for being supportive of him during his hiatus from the longest version of the game.
"I know even if I decide to go to Sri Lanka I might not get in straight away but I am going to fight for my place. I thought (Dom) Bess bowled really well in South Africa but it was almost like, 'yeah, I could to that, I can still do that'. The ECB has been really supportive of me. I want to come back a better player and be a part of the whole journey."
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