Will England's Moeen Ali return to Test cricket? He answers
English all-rounder Moeen Ali has ruled out the possibility of a return to Test cricket. The Birmingham-born wrote in his column for Daily Mail that he had an "honest" conversation with Test coach Brendon McCullum for the same. Moeen, 35, featured in 64 Tests for the Three Lions before bidding adieu to the format in September last year. Here's more.
'Sorry, I'm done'
"I've had an honest chat with Baz (McCullum) and I can't see myself being stuck in hotels for another month and playing to the best of my ability," wrote Moeen. "Baz phoned me, we spoke at length and I said, 'Sorry, I'm done'. He understands, he knows the feeling. Test cricket is hard work. I'm 35 and something's got to give."
Decoding Moeen's Test numbers
Moeen debuted in the whites against Sri Lanka at Lord's in 2014. In 64 Tests, the southpaw managed 2,914 runs at 28.29. He slammed five centuries and 14 half-centuries, with the best score of 155* against SL in 2016. On the bowling front, the off-spinner pocketed 195 scalps (BBI: 6/53). He snapped up five five-wicket hauls in an innings, besides 13 four-fers.
Double of 2,000 runs and 100 wickets
In 2017, Moeen became the fifth-fastest to register the double of 2,000 runs and 100 wickets in Test cricket (31 matches). He reached the landmark in fewer Tests than the legendary English all-rounder Ian Botham. Moeen achieved the milestone against South Africa at The Lord's. He took six wickets in the final innings and was adjudged the Player of the Match.
250 runs and 20 wickets in a series
Moeen holds the record for scoring 250 runs and taking 20 wickets in a single Test series. He scored 252 runs and picked up 25 wickets in the four-match series against South Africa (2017). His batting and bowling averages read 36.00 and 15.64 respectively.
Moeen took a historic hat-trick in 2017
In 2017, Moeen became England's first spinner in 79 years to take a hat-trick in Test cricket. He accomplished the milestone during England's third Test against South Africa. He dismissed the likes of Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada, and Morne Morkel to complete his hat-trick. Most notably, Moeen became the first English spinner since Tom Goddard in 1938 to have done this.
Moeen leads England to a historic win in Pakistan
Moeen led England, in the absence of an injured Jos Buttler, to a 4-3 win in the concluded seven-match T20I series in Pakistan. It was England's maiden tour of the country in 17 years. Moeen will play an integral role in England's campaign in the upcoming T20 World Cup. England will later partake in a three-match Test series against Pakistan in December.