The return of veteran English all-rounder Moeen Ali to the Test setup during the ongoing Ashes 2023 has sparked much discussion. The 36-year-old came out of retirement and rejoined the squad after spinner Jack Leach suffered a stress fracture in his lower back.
Upon his return, Ali was immediately thrust into action, bowling the most overs among the England bowlers in the first innings. Despite taking two wickets in the process, it’s evident that the time away from red-ball cricket has affected the all-rounder.
Ali developed blisters on his fingers due to the excessive bowling workload and was also penalized with a 25% match fee fine for violating the ICC’s Code of Conduct when he was caught using a drying agent on his finger. Witnessing Ali’s predicament, Australian spinner Nathan Lyon expressed sympathy for the all-rounder, remarking on the challenging circumstances he faced.
“I genuinely feel for Moeen. Going from not playing red-ball cricket for two years and suddenly being expected to bowl a significant number of overs is a monumental task. The best analogy I can offer, even if it sounds unusual, is a singer losing their voice but being expected to deliver a concert,” Nathan Lyon shared with Sportskeeda.