England made the decision for Moeen Ali to leave the Test tour of India as part of their rotation policy, stressed head coach Chris Silverwood, as he apologised for the handling of the all-rounder’s departure. England skipper Joe Root had said after the defeat to India in the second Test in Chennai – Moeen’s first five-day game since August 2019 – that the 33-year-old had chosen to go home and see his family.
“We are sorry if the impression we gave was that Moeen is being treated differently to other people. He isn’t, I can guarantee you that.” Silverwood said. “The decision for him to go home was ours, as it was with Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood [who have also been rested for parts of the India series]. We’re happy to own that decision.”
“It was a unique situation with Moeen – he had spent so long in isolation and had just broken back into the team. The question was posed to him [about staying] but ultimately we thought it was the right decision for him to go,” he added. “We touched base with Mo [on Tuesday night], as did Joe [captain Joe Root], and he is fine. Mo understands we have got his best interests at heart and we are trying to look after him, just like we do with all the other players. We have to prioritise that and we are doing the best we can.”
“It is a strange existence we have at the moment and we need to get on with it. Being locked in a bubble for long periods of time is difficult, especially for people that have got families at home.” Silverwood continued. “We have to be very respectful that people need time out of this bubble to see their families and, equally, that families need to see the players as well. People do need time to freshen their mind up, so that when they are here, they are 100 per cent here and in a great place to perform.”