According to the latest reports in Daily Mail, England all-rounder, Moeen Ali has told the new head coach of the Test team, Brendon McCullum, that he is planning to come out of Test retirement and join the Ben Stokes-led side. Moeen had announced his retirement from the red-ball cricket in September last year in order to prolong his white-ball career. A report in dailymail.co.uk added that Moeen’s close friend and fellow spinner Adil Rashid “could be tempted too” to come out of retirement.
While the return to Test cricket is easier said than done, Brendon McCullum, who has been tasked with rebuilding the England Test side, has reportedly kept the duo, along with Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone, in his mind “to lend strength in depth in the England Test squad”, the report said.
Moeen Ali has scalped 195 wickets and scored 2,914 runs in 64 Tests, and had quit Test cricket last year reportedly citing a lack of motivation. One of the sources of Daily Mail informed, “He respects Brendon immensely and would play for him. He’s always been committed to England and wishes to continue. He will assist when required.”
England is scheduled to play three Tests in Pakistan later this year and McCullum’s task after the home series against New Zealand — beginning at Lord’s on June 2 — will be to look at all viable spin bowlers for the subcontinent’s tour. Moeen Ali can be recalled to the Test team as early as August during the series in August.
After taking over as England Test coach when McCullum was reportedly asked about Moeen Ali and the New Zealander has said, “We’ll see. I’m sure if Mo (Moeen) wanted to, and was prepared to put the yards in to make it back into the side, then he’d challenge, no doubt.”
Leg-spinner Rashid’s return to the longest format of the game might be a little more “complicated”, according to the report, as he has not played any kind of First-class cricket since the Bridgetown Test in January 2019.
Talking about the same, Brendon McCullum said, “I’m not sure someone like Adil would play every game every year anyway. But my mentality is, if they’re the best cricketers, why not have conversation and see where you get to?” said McCullum.