Ashley Giles has left the door open for Moeen Ali to return to the England Test team despite the all-rounder asking for a break from red-ball cricket.
The 32-year-old was dropped after the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston following a poor display and has only been handed a central contract in white-ball cricket.
Giles, managing director of the England men's team, believes some time away could be exactly what Moeen needs to rediscover his best form in the longer format of the game.
"Moeen has actually asked me if he could just take a step back from red-ball cricket, which is fine. He's not retiring, but he just wants a little bit of a break from Test cricket," Giles said on Friday.
"I think for all the guys, not just Moeen, it's been a really challenging summer. A World Cup, and Ashes back-to-back has had a massive effect on many of these guys psychologically as much as physically.
"Some of those guys are still carrying that and part of that will be Moeen. His experience in the first Test wasn't a great one, but that's cricket.
"He has been a great servant to this team and that's why I encouraged him to leave that option open to come back. He might just need to go away and freshen up."
Moeen will not feature for England in the two-Test series in New Zealand later this year and it is a similar story for Adil Rashid - another to lose his central Test contract.
Australian Associated Press