Moeen Ali not playing: England have made as many as four changes to their Playing XI for their fourth pink-ball Test.
During the first day of the third Test of the ongoing England’s tour of India in Ahmedabad, England captain Joe Root has won the toss and chose to bat to make the most of optimum batting conditions on offer.
“We are gonna bat first. Hopefully, we will get a big score like the first Test. Hoping the wicket will dry out as the game goes along. It is certainly harder and seems to swing more compared to the red ball. We are very excited to be here 1-1 and are looking to do well,” Root told Star Sports during the toss.
Much like Root, India captain Virat Kohli also wanted to bat first. Speaking about the LED lights (contrary to tall light poles) at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Kohli hoped for his players to adapt quickly.
“We would have batted first as well. We would look to get into the game early on. The practice wickets have been quite spicy. Something that we have enjoyed as a team. It is such an exciting atmosphere here at the largest cricket stadium. I am a bit worried about the lights. We have played in a similar stadium in Dubai. You need to adapt pretty quickly,” Kohli told Star Sports during the toss.
.@ImIshant was felicitated by the Honourable President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind & Honourable Home Minister of India Shri Amit Shah before the start of play here in Ahmedabad.@rashtrapatibhvn @AmitShah pic.twitter.com/7elMWDa9ye
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 24, 2021
Why is Moeen Ali not playing today’s 3rd Test match between India and England?
England, who had lost the previous Test in Chennai and have been actively sending back their multi-format players home, have made as many as four changes to their Playing XI. The visiting side has included batsmen Zac Crawley and Jonny Bairstow and fast bowlers Jofra Archer and James Anderson for their fourth pink-ball Test match.
While opening batsman Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence have been benched due to their low returns in the first two matches, pacer Olly Stone was expected to sit out to accommodate both Anderson and Broad.
As far as all-rounder Moeen Ali is concerned, he has returned back home for it was his turn of getting a rest. While Ali has only played a Test on this tour, he has been with the team since the tour of Sri Lanka. Furthermore, he is also highly likely to play both the T20I and ODI series. Hence, providing him this rest period was necessary.
Announcing the same after the second Test had led to a potential controversy after Root’s selection of words for Ali wasn’t perceived well. As a result, Root was quick to acknowledge his error and issued a public apology to Ali.
Meanwhile, India have only made a couple of changes including all-rounder Washington Sundar and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah for spinner Kuldeep Yadav and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj.