While acknowledging the potential value of having Moeen Ali in the team when he's in top form, Atherton pointed out the all-rounder's modest record in Test cricket, particularly against Australia.
Despite his ability to adapt to the "Bazball" style of play, Moeen's performance against the Ashes rivals raises concerns for Atherton, who questions the wisdom of relying on a player with a less-than-impressive track record.
"But I see the attraction. If he is back to his best, you have a batter who fits the mould of the current side and somebody who has taken a lot of wickets in Test cricket for England. But he does have a modest record in Test cricket. Even when he was a Test cricketer before retirement, he had a modest record against Australia," said Atherton.
Atherton also revealed the spinners he would have preferred over Moeen Ali. He cited Liam Dawson and Will Jacks, who are actively involved in first-class cricket, as his favored options for the role.
Atherton's argument revolves around the notion that current form and consistent participation in the longer format should be taken into account when selecting a player.
"Had it been me I would have picked a different spinner. I would have picked Liam Dawson or Will Jacks, playing first-class cricket currently," said Atherton.">