Moeen Ali break from Test Cricket comes at a time where the 2019 World Cup-winning champions may be in for some valid contemplation about their red-ball form, especially at the back of a nearly heartbreaking Ashes loss that they so emphatically avoided by winning the recent Fifth and Final Test against Australia.
To a sport that often thrives on the skill, driven by thrills and is, especially nowadays dependent on shenanigans and histrionics, he brings a sense of calmness and simplicity.
It’s as if, a man known for his sartorial sense of fashion took weirdly albeit simply to a cup of warm English tea as the others around him were fleeing for beer and wine.
His cricket is an extension to his easy-going and simple personality.
But the news about Moeen Ali break from Test Cricket serves up a surprise that the Test-cricket loving fan may not be able to stomach in the absence of some booze-infused hiccups.
And perhaps, it also appears that Moeen Ali’s break from Test Cricket is concerned with the fact that the 32-year-old failed to secure a new red-ball contract from the England Cricket Board.
For the moment, it ought to be said, that Moeen Ali’s Test career is on hold. However, while one doesn’t know as to how long might be the duration of Moeen Ali break from Test cricket, the enterprising off-spinning all-rounder remains available for the selection of white-ball duties.
The same was confirmed recently by Ashley Giles, the director of cricket, ECB.
But what is the immediate impact of Moeen Ali’s break from Test Cricket?
In lines with the decision taken by the man responsible for amassing over 2,700 Test runs, including 5 centuries, it is confirmed that the left-handed batsman will not be available for the selection for the forthcoming tours to South Africa and New Zealand.
That said, here’s something positive, from a fan perspective.
England is also hopeful of Moeen Ali’s return to the Test stable by as early as March 2020, a time where the team will travel to Sri Lanka to participate in a tw0-match Test series.
This is unless someone appears to take up his place in emerging as a confirmed replacement.
But that said, what makes the matter of Moeen Ali’s break from Test Cricket a matter fraught with confusion is that, at this moment, no fixed timeframe has been put on his return to Test cricket.
Could it be that the team doesn’t need more all-rounders?
In the current context of the Test side’s make-up, it ought to be said that England happens to be among the rare cricketing units that are facing the problem of plenty.
While teams like the West Indies and India have at the most, one or two major all-rounders, in the form of Jason Holder and Roston Chase, and Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya, respectively, there aren’t many Test units that enjoy the luxury of having multiple all-around talents at their disposal.
But in England, there’s a rich repository of both blossoming and established all-round talent in the form of genuine match-winners such as Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, both of whom have a central Test contract while the likes of Sam Curran are among the rising forces in white overalls.
On the matter of Ali’s break, Ashley Giles offered the following views,” Moeen has actually asked me if he could just take a step back from red-ball cricket, which is fine. He’s not retiring, he just wants a little bit of break from Test cricket.”