England all-rounder Moeen Ali is taking a short break from all forms of cricket after being omitted from the squad to face Australia in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s this week.
Moeen contributed just four runs in the opening Test defeat at Edgbaston and offered neither control nor a consistent threat with his off-spin in taking unflattering figures of two for 130 in 29 overs in Australia’s second innings.
He was therefore overlooked in favour of slow left-armer Jack Leach at the ‘Home of Cricket’, and on Tuesday Moeen’s county Worcestershire announced he would now take a “short break from action”.
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.”
Moeen is the world’s leading Test wicket-taker over the last 12 months, with 48 scalps in 10 matches at an average of 25.27, yet he has struggled for form in recent outings.
Indeed, he was dropped as the World Cup reached a conclusion over concerns about his batting.
In Tests, he has registered seven single-figure scores in his last nine innings, with his career average dipping below 30.