Moeen Ali taking ‘short break’ from cricket after losing England spot in second Ashes Test

Ali took three wickets for 172 runs in the opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston and amassed just four with the bat as he was dismissed by long-term rival Nathan Lyon in both innings.

The off-spinner has long been England’s best slow baller and enjoyed successful tours against Sri Lanka and West Indies but is low on confidence and has struggled this summer.

He was replaced by spinner Jack Leach in the 12-man squad for the second Ashes Test at Lord’s and his county side, Worcestershire, announced on Tuesday that he would take a break from the sport.

“Moeen Ali is taking a short break from action after a hectic and high intensity period of international cricket before returning to play for Worcestershire,” read a statement on the county’s website.

“He has been a virtual ever present for his country in all formats of the game since making his international debut five and a half years ago – a combined total of 186 matches.”

It is normal for dropped players to try to earn a recall through performing well for their counties in the County Championship.

Worcestershire first team coach Alex Gidman added: “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 saw at Trent Bridge (in the Blast) what he gives to us and we look forward to when he returns soon.”

Ali was in and out of the ODI side which won the World Cup earlier in the summer, missing out on the dramatic final triumph over New Zealand.

Leach is expected to make the starting XI against Australia, with Joe Denly and Joe Root offering back-up spin options.

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