Home Cricket Moeen Ali: Ben Stokes the Sole Reason for My Ashes Return

Moeen Ali: Ben Stokes the Sole Reason for My Ashes Return

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Test cricket

Moeen Ali has made it clear that he would only end his Test retirement to play in the Ashes if Ben Stokes were the captain. Moeen responded to England’s call after Jack Leach was sidelined from the series against Australia due to a back injury. Stokes’ innovative captaincy style has led England to an impressive 11 wins in their last 13 Tests.

Expressing his delight, Moeen said, “Being a part of this is incredible. The Ashes is a monumental series, and the team has been playing exhilarating cricket.”

Leach’s stress fracture was discovered after England’s comprehensive victory against Ireland at Lord’s earlier this month. Prior to learning about Leach’s injury, Stokes messaged Moeen with a question mark, hinting at the possibility of his return for the Ashes. Initially considering it a joke, Moeen had a conversation with Stokes once he received the news.

Moeen and Stokes were teammates for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League in April and May. Moeen, who represents Warwickshire, mentioned their IPL connection, saying, “During the IPL, I spent a lot of time with Stokesy. He didn’t mention anything about me coming out of retirement; our discussions revolved around the Ashes and his plans for leading the team. He observed my training sessions and believes I can contribute with my bowling skills.”

With 195 wickets and 2,914 runs in 64 Tests, Moeen is expected to be included in the England lineup for the Ashes opener against Australia at Edgbaston on Friday. Known for his naturally aggressive approach with both bat and ball, Moeen is well-suited to the attacking style of cricket advocated by Stokes and England coach Brendon McCullum.

When asked if he would have made a comeback for any other captain, Moeen responded, “Probably not. It’s a free hit for me. I’m not playing to secure my place; there’s not much pressure, to be honest.” He also mentioned that McCullum assured him that he is not concerned about his performance, which he finds comforting. However, Moeen emphasized his personal desire to contribute to winning matches and fulfill his ambitions in Test cricket during the Ashes series.

As the sole frontline spinner in the England squad, Moeen will play a crucial role in the team’s bowling attack, especially considering Stokes’ ongoing left knee problem. Stokes, who bowled only one over in the IPL and did not bowl at all against Ireland, recently shared a video of himself bowling in practice in Scotland. Despite the knee issue, he bowled about 12 balls at Edgbaston on Tuesday, albeit with heavy strapping.

Moeen revealed that his decision to participate in the Ashes has been met with reservations from his wife, leading to the cancellation of a family holiday. While he is available for the entire series, it is unlikely that he will extend his comeback to the tour of India in the upcoming year.

Although Moeen was part of the victorious Ashes campaign in 2015, he has struggled against the Australians throughout his career, with an average of almost 65 runs per wicket. In his previous Ashes series on home soil in 2019, he was dropped after the first Test at Edgbaston, the same venue where he will now make his return.

Looking ahead, Moeen considers this opportunity as a fresh start, expressing his ability to move on quickly from past disappointments. He anticipates being targeted by the Australian batsmen, stating, “If I were in their shoes, I would do the same. Any spinner who comes in will face aggression. I don’t expect them to hold back; I expect them to come after me. This could be challenging since Stokesy likes to set attacking fields, which may result in conceding runs.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Test cricket

Why did Moeen Ali decide to come out of Test retirement for the Ashes?

Moeen Ali made the decision to come out of Test retirement specifically for the Ashes because he stated that he would only return if Ben Stokes was the captain. Stokes’ innovative style of captaincy and the team’s recent success under his leadership influenced Moeen’s choice to make a comeback.

How did Moeen Ali learn about the opportunity to play in the Ashes?

Moeen Ali was contacted by Ben Stokes before he became aware of Jack Leach’s injury, which opened up a spot in the England squad for the Ashes series. Stokes messaged Moeen with a question mark regarding the Ashes, and they subsequently had a conversation about Moeen’s potential return to Test cricket.

Will Moeen Ali’s poor record against Australia affect his performance in the Ashes?

Moeen Ali acknowledged his poor career record against Australia, averaging nearly 65 with the ball. However, he expressed a fresh start mentality, stating that he quickly moves on from past disappointments. While he expects to be targeted by the Australian batsmen, he is determined to contribute and fulfill his ambitions in Test cricket during the Ashes series.

What role will Moeen Ali play in the England team for the Ashes?

As the only frontline spinner in the England squad, Moeen Ali will have a crucial role in the team’s bowling attack for the Ashes series. With Jack Leach’s absence due to a back injury, Moeen’s off-spin skills will be vital. His attacking style of play with both bat and ball aligns well with the aggressive approach advocated by captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.

How long is Moeen Ali available for the Ashes series?

Moeen Ali is available for the entire Ashes series. Although England has only announced the squad for the first two Tests, Moeen’s comeback is not limited to those matches. However, it is unlikely that he will extend his return to the tour of India in the coming year.

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CricketFan123 June 13, 2023 - 6:50 pm

moeen ali return 4 ashes coz he lyk stokes as cap. that’s kool, england playin well! gooooo england!

SportsLover99 June 14, 2023 - 11:14 am

moeen comin back 4 the ashes cuz stokesy msged him, lol. it’s gr8 2 c their friendship. hope they win against aussies! #Ashes2023

CricketCrazy22 June 14, 2023 - 2:01 pm

moeen ali, the spin wizard, returnin 2 test cricket 4 ashes. stokesy’s captaining rockin england. gonna be a cracker of a series! #excited


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