England all-rounder Moeen Ali feels he is ready to make a comeback to Test cricket, admitting that time away from the game, amid the coronavirus lockdown, has given him the opportunity to reflect on his future.
Moeen, who played the last of his 60 Tests during the Ashes last August, told Guardian that he’s ready to play a game in whites, even if, hypothetically, “there was a Test match tomorrow”.
“I think I’d probably be ready now, to be honest,” Moeen said. “Clearly I would have to be playing well and win a spot back on merit. But in terms of being available – and obviously I’m speaking hypothetically – if there was a Test match tomorrow and I got the call, I’d say ‘yes’.
“We’re all missing cricket right now and coronavirus makes you realise what you love. It could take out the whole summer and that would be a big thing.”
Earlier this year, Moeen had claimed that he had been singled out as a scapegoat for England’s Test defeats; after his failure in the first Ashes Test in 2019, he was dropped from the side, and subsequently decided to take an indefinite break from red-ball cricket.
Moeen Ali hasn't played for England in Tests in almost eight months and wasn't offered a Test contract by the ECB last September.https://t.co/eP1cBSnFm9
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) April 2, 2020
Now, having rounded up his thoughts during the lockdown, Moeen vows to return stronger, admitting that he is past the phase where he was surrounded by constant negativity.
“When you find yourself surrounded by a few negative comments, somehow it’s all you can focus on. You have to be mentally stronger and filter more of it out.
“It’s almost been a case of forgiving anyone who has ever said anything I didn’t like and now looking to start afresh when we get back playing. I may have felt a scapegoat at times in the past but I’m over it now. It’s time to move on.”