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Moeen Ali takes a break from cricket following Lord's Test exclusion
The Ashes 2019

Moeen Ali takes a break from cricket following Lord's Test exclusion

Moeen Ali has decided to take a short break from all forms of cricket after being left out of the England squad for the second Ashes Test due to commence on Wednesday.

Moeen visibly struggled in the first Test of the five-match series as his off-spin threat was completely nullified by the Australian batsmen and he returned abysmal figures of 3-172 across both innings.

The 32-year-old's poor form in the batting department also continued with Moeen being cheaply dismissed twice by Nathan Lyon in the match while he managed to contribute just four runs including a duck.

He has been replaced by fellow spinner Jack Leach, who top-scored with 92 runs coming in to bat as a nightwatchman during England's victory over Ireland last month.

Moeen was expected to return to the domestic Vitality Blast and captain his side Worcestershire but the club has announced he would be bowing out of competitive cricket for a short while after a "high-intensity" stint in the international arena.

Worcestershire coach Alex Gidman told 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 saw at Trent Bridge [in the Blast] what he gives to us and we look forward to when he returns soon."

Despite Moeen's ordinary showings in the recently concluded World Cup, he is the leading wicket-taker in the longest format over the past year, with 48 scalps in 10 matches at 25.27.

Meanwhile, his batting has taken a sharp hit with his Test average falling below 30 for the first time in his career following a string of mediocre performances.