Root Apologises to Moeen for Saying He ‘Chose’ to Return: Reports

Buttler, like Ali, went home after the first Test and will be back in India for the tour’s limited overs leg.

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Moeen Ali has opted out of the remainder of the Test series against India.

After coming under fire for the language used, England captain Joe Root has apologised to Moeen Ali for saying that the all-rounder has “chosen” to go home after the second Test. That Moeen would be headed back was already agreed upon as part of the national team’s rotation policy, according to reports.

Moeen, who picked eight wickets and scored an 18-ball 43 in England second innings in the second Test defeat in Chennai, his first match since Ashes 2019, he chose to stick to the original plan and return to UK for a break. Like Moeen, Jos Buttler had left for UK after the first Test in Chennai.

According to a report in ‘Mirror’ newspaper, Root apologised to Ali at the team hotel for saying that “he has chosen” to go home. A few other British newspapers also reported on similar lines.

On Tuesday, Root had said: “Moeen has chosen to go home. It’s obviously been a very tricky tour for him. As we mentioned at the start (of the winter), if players feel like they need to get out of the bubble, then that’s been an option. It is really important that we stand by that.

“With Moeen it wasn’t more asking if he wanted to stay, it was a decision he had chosen. Of course we wanted as many players available for as long as possible, but you also want them to be very comfortable here.”

Jos Buttler, an all-format player like Ali, went home after the first Test and will be back in India for the tour’s limited overs leg. Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer were rested for the recent Test series in Sri Lanka.

There was an intense debate around Jonny Bairstow’s unavailability for the first two Tests in India but he too was rested after the Sri Lanka tour as the ECB has a clear rotation policy in place with cricketers having to spend months in a bio-bubble due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bairstow is in India now for the last two Tests and the white-ball leg of the tour.

(With PTI Inputs)

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