Spinners Adil Rashid and Adil Rashid are both mulling over the prospect of returning to Test cricket with England before 2020 is out.
Off-spinner Moeen took himself out of the firing line having being dropped following the first Ashes Test last summer, citing burnout at the time.
Meanwhile, Rashid is only due to play limited-overs cricket for Yorkshire this season but he wants to keep his options open for England duty later in the year. Rashid has played 19 Tests for England, though his most recent appearance came in early 2019 against the West Indies.
That constituted a ninth successive appearance in England’s Test line-up, perhaps a surprising run for a player that last played a County Championship match for Yorkshire in 2017.
He was part of England’s victorious World Cup team last summer, a success that came in thrilling fashion, and the 32-year-old is open to the notion of a return to the Test fold later this year. “Once September comes, if my shoulder is 100 percent and I feel I can get back into red-ball, that is something I would consider,” Rashid said.
Despite requiring pain-relieving injections to curtail a troublesome shoulder, Rashid was ever-present in England’s World Cup win of 2019. England battled their way to a drawn series in the 2019 Ashes with Australia and will hope to regain the most famous urn in sport in the 2021/22 Series Down Under despite their status as underdogs in the cricket betting for those contests.
While that may be some way down the horizon yet, Rashid knows he must get himself in the picture sooner rather than later if he is going to be part of the Ashes touring party to Australia next winter.
A failure to get back in the Test fold will ensure ‘there’s no Ashes’ down the line for Rashid he admits. Making the call to put himself back in that frame will offer a sense of focus with England’s Tour to Australia in late 2021 in mind.
Meanwhile, fellow 30-something Moeen has raised the possibility that he, too, will be willing to come back into the Test cricket fold with England. He missed the Test legs of England’s winter trips to New Zealand and South Africa last year after making his own decision to step away from that format of the game in a bid to alleviate some of the pressure he had been feeling.
Mooen had been left out of the England side following a below-par effort in last summer’s opening Ashes Test, when the hosts were left floundering by Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins at Edgbaston. He concedes that he allowed the negativity to become his focus at that time but now he is ready to look forward with a different mindset.
Rashid has no doubts that a proven “match winner” such as Moeen will be an option when England return to Test action given that he has showcased himself as a “world class” talent over a sustained period of time in England colours.
Both men may be hoping they can re-establish their Test credentials in time to play a role in the Ashes Tour next year, one that could be a swansong for both Rashid and Moeen in the heat of battle in Test cricket’s fiercest rivalry.