The English all-rounder Moeen Ali has been left out of the squad for the second Ashes Test at the Home of Cricket, Lord’s as the off-spinner was replaced by left-arm spinner Jack Leach. Ali had a poor outing at Edgbaston in the opening Ashes Test as he was dismissed cheaply in both innings and only managed to pick 2-130 and 1-42 on a turning track.
When Worcestershire coach Alex Gidman was asked about Ali taking a “short break” from cricket, he said, “Mo is spending a little time away from the middle recharging his batteries and putting in some quality practice time which he feels he needs, and we completely respect.”
“He has had an intense schedule of international cricket involving the ICC World Cup and the start of the Ashes. Mo loves playing for Worcestershire and he gives a lift to everyone in the dressing room when he comes back and plays for us,” he added.
With Moeen Ali out and Adil Rashid missing the season due to an injury, Leach is the most likely spinning option available to England for rest of the Ashes series.
“Mo sent me a text wishing me all the best. He said he hopes that I do really well. He's been so supportive of me coming into this environment and helping me with my bowling. I actually told him to be ready for the third Test, so we had a little laugh,” Leach told BBC.
Even though Moeen Ali is taking a "short break" after a "hectic and high-intensity period of international cricket", it is still possible that the 32-year-old could return for Sunday's Championship match against Northamptonshire.
(With ESPNCricinfo inputs)