‘Still want to prove myself in Tests’ – Moeen Ali

Moeen Ali was at his free-scoring best © Getty Images

Moeen Ali has restated his desire to return to Test cricket in the future, saying he has “huge ambitions” to prove himself in the format. Moeen did not make himself available for next month’s tour of Sri Lanka but said he was keen to be involved in next winter’s five-Test World Test Championship trip to India.

Moeen’s last Test appearance was in August, for the opening encounter of the 2019 Ashes. He subsequently took time away from the game to deal with burnout, making his England return in the third ODI against South Africa last week.

He was named Player of the Match in Durban on Friday as England levelled the T20I series, and spoke afterwards about his plans for a Test return.

“I do want to be part of that [tour to India] for sure,” Moeen told the BBC. “I still have huge ambitions for Test cricket.

“It is still the best form of the game and the hardest. I want prove to myself and to other people that I am not a bad Test player.”

England play two Tests in Sri Lanka in March, before taking on West Indies and Pakistan during their home summer.

Moeen, who lost his central contract in October but could have been obliged by the ECB to make himself available for Sri Lanka as part of his white-ball deal, will next head to the Pakistan Super League, where he has been signed by Multan Sultans.

“I am going to give myself a bit more time,” he said of his break from Test cricket. “I want to make sure when I come back I am ready and fresh.

“I want to keep enjoying my cricket and get that hunger back because I feel I lost that completely. I had no interest in my batting and bowling and when you are in that situation there is no point playing.

“I definitely feel like I am getting there and not far [away]. I want to give myself extra time and know when I come back I will have to fight for my place.”

Moeen played once during the ODI series against South Africa, taking 1 for 41 and then hitting the winning runs in Johannesburg. He showed signs of getting back to his free-scoring best in the second T20I, cracking a whirlwind 39 off 11 balls to fire England to a score they narrowly managed to defend in a dramatic final-over finish.

“It was amazing to contribute and finally feel like I am back for England,” he said. “I will not take it for granted.”

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.