England's Moeen Ali to return home, miss third test v India

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FILE PHOTO: Ashes 2019 - First Test - England v Australia

(Reuters) - England all-rounder Moeen Ali is to fly home to be with his family and will miss the third test against India in Ahmedabad, skipper Joe Root said on Tuesday.

Moeen took eight wickets and scored 49 runs in the second test in Chennai, which India won by 317 runs to level the four-match series 1-1 earlier in the day.

The 33-year-old, who had tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Sri Lanka series last month, felt he had spent enough time in a biosecure 'bubble', Root said.

"Moeen has chosen to go home. He obviously feels he wants to be with his family and we have to respect that," he added.

"It's been a tough tour for him. It's come to a point where he feels he needs to get out of the bubble. I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision."

Fast bowler Jofra Archer, who missed the second test due to an elbow injury, will return for the third match while batsman Jonny Bairstow and pacer Mark Wood are also back after being rested for the first two tests.

Top-order batsman Zak Crawley also returns to the squad after missing the first two matches with a wrist injury and fast bowler James Anderson has been included too.

The third test, a day-night contest, will be played at Ahmedabad's Sardar Patel Stadium from Feb. 24.

Squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)