Moeen feels he gets a raw deal from his critics
Moeen Ali claims he is cut less slack for his performances than England team-mates after explaining why he has snubbed a Test recall.
England wanted the fourth most successful spinner in their Test history to board the plane to South Africa tomorrow night but the 32-year-old was reluctant to overturn a self-imposed exile at the end of an Ashes series in which he featured just once.
Writing in his Guardian column, Moeen said: ‘Representing England has always been a privilege and my decision to take a break from Test cricket at the end of the home summer was made to ensure that, hopefully, I can do it for a lot longer.’
Test captain Joe Root and national selector Ed Smith both met Moeen last week in hope of including him in the 17-man squad to face the Proteas in a four-match series starting in Pretoria on Boxing Day.
‘But it just felt too soon,’ the spinner added. ‘The past few years have been so full-on and the plan behind my break from Test cricket was to freshen up, enjoy some new environments and get my game back in good order.
‘My one disappointing Test match against Australia had a few contributing factors that get overlooked but in the 12 months leading into it I had been the leading wicket-taker in the world. I had a very good winter with the ball, one that taught me lots, particularly when it came to bowling in the subcontinent in Sri Lanka.
‘Yet in the past week I have read that I don’t take wickets overseas, when I felt I was making progress. Sometimes it can feel like my bad days in Test cricket get amplified or singled out more than other players, while my good ones can fly under the radar. I’m not making excuses but over time this can get to you a little bit.’Daily Mail