• Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

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Moeen Ali to fly home, will miss rest of India Test series


Moeen Ali opts to leave England bubble and fly home for short break, will miss final two Tests against India in Ahmedabad; Ali’s fellow off-spinner Dom Bess named in 17-man squad for third Test as Jofra Archer and James Anderson return; Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood back after rest

Last Updated: 16/02/21 9:08am

Moeen Ali has opted to leave the bio-secure bubble and return home (pic credit – BCCI)

England all-rounder Moeen Ali has chosen to fly home and will miss the final two Tests against India in Ahmedabad.

All-rounder Moeen took eight wickets in the match and scored a quick-fire second-innings 43 from 18 balls in England’s 317-run loss to India in the second Test in Chennai – his first Test since the Ashes opener in 2019.

However, the 33-year-old – who suffered with a bout of coronavirus in Sri Lanka earlier this year – has opted to leave the bio-secure bubble and will now head home to spend time with his family.

England captain Joe Root said: “Moeen has chosen to go home. He obviously feels he wants to be with his family and we have to respect that.

“It’s been a tough tour for him. It’s come to a point where he feels he needs to get out of the bubble. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision. We have to respect it.

“If players feel they need to get out of the bubble then that is an option and I think it’s really important that we stand by that.”

England 17-man squad for third Test: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Jonny Bairstow is back in the England squad after being rested for the first two Tests

Jonny Bairstow is back in the England squad after being rested for the first two Tests

Moeen’s fellow off-spinner Dom Bess – dropped for the second Test – returns to a 17-man squad for the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad, which gets under way on Wednesday, February 24.

Seamers Jofra Archer, who missed the second Test with an elbow injury, and James Anderson, rested after starring in England’s 227-run win in the first Test, are also back.

Batsman Zak Crawley, who missed the first two Tests with a broken wrist, is in England’s party, as are batsman Jonny Bairstow and paceman Mark Wood, who were rested for the first two games of the series.

Crawley and Bairstow are options to bolster a batting line-up rolled for 134 and 164 on a spin-friendly surface in Chennai.

On Crawley, Root added: “Zak is improving all the time. He has been batting quite a lot this week and seems to be getting better and better. That’s great signs for him and us moving forward.”





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