England all-rounder Moeen Ali is seriously considering a return to Test cricket for the upcoming Ashes after Jack Leach's back stress fracture ruled him out for a considerable period of time. The left-arm spinner complained of back pain following the team's resounding win over Ireland in the one-off Test at Lord's and the scans proceeded to reveal a major injury.
While England do have a plethora of options in the form of Rehan Ahmed, Liam Livingstone, and Will Jacks to don the role of the spinner in the playing XI, Moeen has reportedly been asked about his availability. Additionally, a report from Telegraph Sport confirms that he will make his final decision in the next 48 hours.
Tactically, this could come as a game-changer for England. The veteran all-rounder is arguably tailormade for an aggressive approach and the conditions in England do not often warrant a frontline spinner, with several teams opting to make do with an all-rounder.
To make Moeen's case even stronger, he has a better record with both the bat and ball in 35 Tests at home as compared to his away appearances in whites.
He has represented England in 64 Tests, with his last appearance coming in 2021 at The Oval. Moeen subsequently announced his retirement from the longest format during the 2021-22 Ashes as he looked to prolong his career in white-ball cricket.
Due to his retirement in early 2022, he has never played under the new regime set by Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes. The England Test head coach has been open to the idea of the all-rounder reversing his retirement, and the same was being considered by Moeen ahead of England's tour of Pakistan in December 2022.
However, he chose not to make a return and focused on his franchise commitments and white-ball cricket instead.
The 35-year-old was a vital part of the England side that won the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, and similarly, Moeen is bound to play a crucial role as they look to defend their ODI World Cup title later this year.
Moeen Ali recently won the 2023 IPL with the Chennai Super Kings
Moeen Ali has evolved to be a much more reliable player in the shorter formats over the years and is also the vice-captain of the England national team.
He was part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad that secured the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) title and is currently leading the Birmingham Bears in the Vitality T20 Blast.
England are scheduled to play against Australia and kick start the Ashes from June 16 onwards at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Is the all-rounder the ideal replacement for Jack Leach in the England Test squad? Let us know what you think.