Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali could be set to return to the England Test team. Image Credit: AFP

Nottingham: England all-rounder Moeen Ali revealed that he is open to making a return to Test cricket under new head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

Ali had retired from Test cricket in September last year, having scored 2,914 runs, including five centuries and taken 195 wickets, including five five-fors, in 64 appearances in the longest format of the game.

Keen to play

“There’s a possibility (of returning to Test cricket). I’m a big one for never say never. We’ll see what happens. Brendon got the job and he messaged me the day after, during the IPL, and said ‘are you in?’ He said he would call me at the weekend. So we spoke and he said ‘in the future if we need you, if there are injuries or a tour in the subcontinent etc, are you keen to play?’,” said Moeen on BBC Test Match Special.

Ali feels that with Stokes-McCullum pair at the helm in England’s Test team, his style of cricket will work under the new captain-coach combination.

“He’s (McCullum) a very difficult person to say no to and I found that very, very hard. He’s very convincing. To be honest, I’d love to play under him and Stokesy. Both of them have that character about them. They’re very aggressive. I think I would suit their cricket a bit more and I think they feel I would suit them as well.”

Door open

Ali and McCullum have shared the dressing room in 2018 as part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad in the Indian Premier League (IPL). “I said to Brendon the door is never always closed if your country needs you, or guys are injured or your team needs you for balance. So, yeah, I’m keen,” stated Ali.

After completing their matches in home summer, England will play seven T20Is in Pakistan between September and October, before returning to the country for three Tests in December. Moeen, whose family has roots in Pakistan, signed off by saying that touring the country would be great after a gap of 17 years. “We’ve not been there for many, many years. It would be a great tour to be part of, for sure.”