English all-rounder Moeen Ali hails the decisions of Adil Rashid and Alex Hales of shifting their focus completely on the limited-overs cricket. Rashid has decided to play only play white-ball cricket for Yorkshire during the 2018 season, while opener Hales has signed a new limited-overs deal with Nottinghamshire for the next couple of years.
England team their five-match ODI series against New Zealand on Sunday. Talking to the reports ahead of that, Ali said, “It will be great for England long term. We’re going to have real specialists and it’s something a lot of players will probably do further down the line.”
Leg-spinner Rashid has played 59 ODIs and 28 T20Is for England but made the most recent of his 10 Test appearances against India in December 2016. While Hales has played 58 ODIs and 52 T20Is and donned the last of his 11 Test caps against Pakistan in August 2016.
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Moeen expressed that he felt both could still play the red-ball cricket but their white-ball skills will “improve immensely” by focusing on the shorter formats. He said, “It’s something they feel they probably need to do to play around the world and in all the tournaments as much as they can.”
Ali was seen struggled during the 4-0 Ashes defeat by Australia, as he only scalped five wickets in five Tests at an average of 115.00 and scoring 179 runs at 19.88. The off-spinner’s form improved during England’s 4-1 ODI series win over Australia in January before he was rested for the recent Twenty20 tri-series in which England failed to reach the final. Talking about the same, he said, “I needed a bit of a break from the game mentally and physically and to just switch off but now I’m ready to go.”
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England’s flamboyant all-rounder Ben Stokes could make his first England appearance since he was suspended in September in the first ODI at Hamilton on Sunday. He faces a trial prosecuted of a brawl following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub and has been cleared by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to rejoin the squad.
Coach Trevor Bayliss said it was “unlikely” Stokes would play the first ODI but skipper Eoin Morgan has since said the Englishmen are hopeful the Durham all-rounder will be fit in time. After the ODI series, England plays New Zealand in a two-match Test series, starting on 22 March.