Ian Chappell has slammed England for recalling Moeen Ali for the Ashes and claims Australia will be ‘over the moon’ if the all-rounder plays.
Moeen has come out of Test retirement to join England’s squad for the first two Ashes Tests against Australia.
The 35-year-old replaces Somerset spinner Jack Leach, who has been ruled out of the entire series with a stress fracture in his back.
Moeen has scored almost 3,000 runs and taken 195 wickets in 64 Tests but has not played the format since September 2021.
He reversed his retirement decision after being contacted by England captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, but Chappell says Moeen is ‘not the answer’.
‘I don’t understand England when it comes to spin bowling, because Jack Leach is not the answer, not against Australia, and I don’t think Moeen Ali is either,’ he told Wide World of Sports.
‘So I would have thought the Australians would be over the moon if they picked Moeen Ali. It’s got nothing to do with the retirement; he doesn’t get Australians out.
‘So, unless he’s improved as an off-spin bowler, I don’t see why they’re turning to him. We know England’s depth is not very good.
‘If you’re relying on Jack Leach as your main spinner… He might be fine against the minor nations, but anyone who can play spin really should make mince meat of Jack Leach.
‘Have a look at his record against Australia; it’s no good. So, why you would go there, I don’t understand. Their future is Rehan Ahmed but I don’t think he’s going to get many Australians out.’
Moeen looks set to play in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on June 16 and will hope to improve his mediocre record against Australia.
In 11 Tests against the old enemy, Moeen has taken 20 wickets at an average of 65 and scored 476 runs at 25.
Following Moeen’s call-up to the Ashes squad, managing director of England men’s cricket Rob Key said: ‘We reached out to Mo early this week about returning to Test cricket.
‘Having had a couple of days to reflect, Mo is excited to join the squad and play Test cricket again. His vast experience, along with his all-round ability, will benefit our Ashes campaign. We wish Mo and the rest of the squad well for the Ashes campaign.’
England are bidding to win back the Ashes following a 4-0 defeat in the last series. Australia – who have not won a Test series in England since 2001 – are currently playing India in the World Test Championship final.
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