We Need to Talk about Moeen
He's been our number one spinner.
He's been our number three batsman.
He's been a batsman who bowls a bit.
He's been an allrounder.
We need to talk about Moeen Ali.
If you've scored nearly 3000 Test runs and were closing in on 200 Test wickets it would be safe to assume your career was going rather well; but with Moeen Ali that is not a safe assumption.
Wiser heads than mine have concluded his Test place is now a lost cause, with the likes of Bess, Leach and Virdi now genuine options with the ball; with the bat, the younger generation led by Pope, Sibley and Crawley are all ahead of him in the pecking order.
England have an aborted SL tour to complete, as well as a five-Test tour of India in the near future so three spinners may yet feature and Moeen may yet win a recall but I believe that would be a short term, horses for courses selection.
I think Moeen's international future is solely in limited-overs cricket. A key part of the 2019 WC winning side, his experience will be of great benefit in the next couple of years as we build to our WC defence in India 2023.
Further, his exploits with Worcester in the Blast in the last couple of years have made him a sure-fire pick for the two T20 World Cups in the next two years. Skilful bowling, an even temperament and explosive hitting against all types of attack at any stage of an innings make him a valuable asset to Morgan's T20 team.
After all, if after retirement you could look back on 60 Tests, a 50 over World Cup win and a T20 World Cup win (or two) then you've had a good time. Right?
Thanks for reading!