Moeen Ali’s momentary break from the game will not turn into an extended absence from England colours, according to Test captain Joe Root.
Moeen was dropped from this week’s second Ashes Test at Lord’s after a torrid outing in the series opener at Edgbaston, and has been granted time away by Worcestershire rather than playing in two Vitality Blast T20 matches.
The spin-bowling all-rounder is expected to be back in action by the weekend, though, taking his place in the Specsavers County Championship match against Northamptonshire starting on Sunday.
After scoring four and nought against Australia, as well as being comprehensively outbowled by opposite number Nathan Lyon, he is eager to get his red-ball game in order.
Whether England would be willing to throw him back into action against an Australia side he has often struggled against remains to be seen, but Root certainly expects to captain the 32-year-old again.
“It’s certainly not the last we’ll see of him, he’s a fine character, a great man and gives so much to this team,” said Root.
“I’m sure that it won’t be long until you see him back involved. I spent a good while chatting to Mo, making sure he understood where he’s at, and where we’re at in terms of getting him back to his best.
“He proved it last time (he was recalled), coming into the India series and having a massive influence on it. There’s no reason why he can’t go back and do the same again and try and force his way back into the squad.
“You know, he’s been a big part of English cricket and he’s done some fantastic things in a Test shirt.”
In the past 12 months Moeen has taken more Test scalps than any other bowler in the world with 48 in 10 matches but, having also lost his place in the one-day side midway through the triumphant World Cup campaign, is currently short of his best.
Worcestershire first-team coach Alex Gidman said on the club website: “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. We look forward to when he returns soon.”