“Moeen has got real issues with that spinning finger”, Michael Atherton comes up with a stern warning to England going forward in Ashes 2023

Ashes 2023: Former England all-rounder Moeen Ali, coming out of retirement, starred in the first Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston. The 36-year-old reversed his decision to retire after fruitful talks with England captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum. Moeen’s selection came after Jack Leach, the frontline spinner, was ruled out due to a lower back stress fracture.

Moeen made an impressive return, delivering a splendid ball to dismiss Australian batsman Cameron Green. His performance drew praise from Indian spinning legend Harbhajan Singh. However, Moeen bowled the most overs for England in the first innings, raising concerns about his physical well-being.

Indeed, England faced an injury scare on Day 3, as Moeen developed a blister on his index finger. This limited his ability to bowl in his comeback Test. Ex-England skippers Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain weighed in on the situation during a discussion with Sky Sports Cricket.

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Ashes 2023: Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton talks about Moeen Ali bowling in test cricket with the red dukes after a long time

Atherton expressed concern, pointing out that Moeen has real issues with his spinning finger. He suggested that Moeen will likely have a lot of bowling to do throughout the Test and potentially the series. Hussain chimed in, highlighting the contrast between white-ball and Test cricket.

Hussain drew parallels between Moeen’s situation and that of Jonny Bairstow, noting the potential for sloppiness after prolonged time in the field. He emphasized that Moeen hasn’t bowled with a red Dukes ball in a long time, hinting at potential rustiness. This context added an intriguing subplot to Moeen’s comeback performance.

However, Moeen ran afoul of the ICC Code of Conduct, resulting in a penalty of 25% of his match fee. This breach, under Article 2.20, involved the application of a drying agent to his bowling hand near the boundary line. This incident put a slight damper on an otherwise impressive comeback for the seasoned all-rounder.

Despite the concerns and controversy, Moeen’s return injects a new dynamic into England’s Ashes campaign. His performance in the ongoing series could well be pivotal in the final outcome.

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