Moeen Ali could make Test return ahead of Ashes

The series beings on June 16

By Web Desk
June 06, 2023
Moeen Ali brought the curtain down on his Test career in September 2021 — AFP

England all-rounder Moeen Ali could make a comeback in Test cricket ahead of the Ashes against Australia, according to Reuters.

The development comes after spinner Jack Leach was ruled out of the Ashes with a lower back stress fracture.

The 35-year-old, who brought the curtain down on his Test career in September 2021, was approached by England skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum over a potential return to red-ball cricket.

British media said Moeen has been given some time to make a decision.

Moeen scored 2,914 runs in 64 Tests at an average of 28.29, claiming 195 wickets, after making his debut in 2014.

England, who are still looking for a replacement for Leach, will also miss the services of fast bowler Jofra Archer, who was ruled out due to an elbow injury, during the Ashes.

The Ashes gets underway at Edgbaston on June 16.

Meanwhile, former England captain Mike Atherton said that the home side could rejig their bowling attack after Leach’s injury.

"They have said that they will announce a replacement in due course, but the decision is not straightforward because of the paucity of spin in the English game," Atherton wrote in the Times newspaper.

"For years now, with the County Championship pushed to the margins of the season, counties have had no incentive to produce or play spinners and the county game has never been so threadbare for quality spin."

Former England spinner Monty Panesar believes England may include an extra fast bowler and prepare green tracks tailor-made for a seam-heavy attack.

"They may just not even go with a (frontline) spinner for the first test match..." Panesar told Sky Sports.

"They may just change the pitch conditions, go with slightly greener surfaces where all the England fast bowlers, especially the seam bowlers, are in the game throughout the whole test match."


First Test (Edgbaston) - Friday June 16 - Tuesday June 20

Second Test (Lord's) - Wednesday June 28 - Sunday July 2

Third Test (Clean Slate Headingley) - Thursday July 6 - Monday July 10

Fourth Test (Emirates Old Trafford) - Wednesday July 19 - Sunday July 23

Fifth Test (The Kia Oval) - Thursday July 27 - Monday July 31