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England clarify reason Moeen Ali left India after second Test defeat

England all-rounder Moeen Ali left India following the second Test defeat (Picture: BCCI)

England head coach Chris Silverwood has apologised to all-rounder Moeen Ali for the manner in which it was confirmed he would miss the final two Tests against India.

Moeen was always due to return home after the second Test against India but Joe Root clumsily said the 31-year-old had ‘chosen’ to leave, leading to criticism from former England captains Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen.

He said: ‘We are sorry the impression we gave was that Moeen is being treated differently to other people. He isn’t.

‘The decision for him to go home was ours and we will own that decision. It was our decision, as it was with the other players.’

Despite touring, Moeen did not feature if either of England’s Test wins in Sri Lanka last month and spent 14 days in isolation after testing positive for coronavirus.

He was left out of the series opener against India before replacing Dom Bess for the second Test, taking eight wickets in the match and scoring 42 runs from 18 balls in the final session of the match.

England approached Moeen to see whether he would consider extending his stay in India but it was ultimately decided that he would return home.

Moeen was always due to leave India after the second Test (Picture: Getty)

Moeen will be back in India for England’s upcoming Twenty20 international series and could feature in next month’s Indian Premier League.

‘It was a unique situation with Moeen, the fact that he had spent so long in isolation getting Covid out in Sri Lanka and how he’d just broken back into the team,’ said Silverwood.

‘The question was posed to him but ultimately we felt it was the right decision for him to go home.’

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England have implemented a rotation policy in a bit to manage players’ workload during a hectic year in which the team plays 17 Test matches and competes in the Twenty20 World Cup.

But Vaughan, Pietersen and Graeme Swann are among those to criticise England’s approach in recent weeks.

Responding to the criticism, Silverwood said: ‘We’re trying to be proactive and get the breaks in there for them so we don’t get to a point where they have had enough.

Head coach Chris Silverwood has defended England’s rotation policy (Picture: Getty)

‘To send them home, get them fresh… seeing the guys that have come back, they are bouncing, excited and full of energy. That is exactly where I want the players to be and we are working hard to make that happen.

‘Test cricket is most definitely the priority for us. It is something Joe and I are very passionate about.

‘We know we have a great opportunity to have a bit of a dry run with the T20 World Cup being in India, but, equally, we have to respect that to get people to the World Cup and the Ashes fresh and on top form, we have to look after them.’

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