Moeen Ali ready for fresh start with England after falling out of love with Test cricket

By Sports Desk April 29, 2020

Moeen Ali fell out of love with Test cricket after feeling he was often "getting the blame for everything" with England but would now jump at the chance to make a fresh start.

The all-rounder has not played in the longest format since the opening match of last year's Ashes series on home soil, dropped after England slipped to a heavy defeat at Edgbaston.

Moeen missed out on a central contract and made himself unavailable for the tours of South Africa and Sri Lanka, though the series with the latter did not go ahead as the squad returned home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While still involved in white-ball cricket, the 32-year-old felt he was often scapegoated for England's shortcomings at Test level, even if the team as a whole performed badly.

"For sure, I did fall out of love with the longer format," Moeen told the media on a conference call. "You get into a negative space, a negative frame of mind.

"You're getting the blame for everything and everyone is looking at you.

"I definitely felt like, while I was playing, that if we lost the game and were 54 all out or 82 all out, it was my shot that lost it or was highlighted more.

"It was my mistake with the bat. It would always be my face."

England's home schedule in 2020 remains up in the air because of the COVID-19 outbreak, with the Test series against West Indies already postponed.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has said no professional cricket will be played until at least the start of July, with the lengthy delay leaving Moeen desperate to play again as he looks for a "fresh start" to his Test career.

"For sure, if I got the call tomorrow to play, I would definitely put my hand up," he said.

"It's about just forgetting everything and almost having a fresh start. Hopefully that's what has happened in the last year or so, it has put me in a better mindset.

"When I first played for England, I remember telling myself I wasn't going to let anything affect me, but I did during the last year or so I was playing

"It's just about going back to basics and playing like I'm a kid again. I've just got to enjoy my cricket and not think too much about what people say."

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