Ali pointed to crowds at the recent Ashes series as a sign that support for test cricket was suffering, despite statistics indicating that the recent series was the highest attended in Australia since 1936/37.

"We're very lucky in England. After being all around the world and seeing the crowds everywhere else, we've got the best fans, we've got full houses most of the time. I feel fortunate in that way," Ali told New Zealand media. 

Their crowds may be larger than ours, or their stadiums smaller, but perhaps it's the form of the English test side that Ali's worried about. 

Australian coach Darren Lehmann has sprung to the format's defence, telling that he believes test cricket is "alive". 

"I thought the Ashes crowds were fantastic, our crowds were great. 

"I think they broke all records, whether they were at the ground or watching, streaming or listening on the radio. 

"It was an outstanding Test series. I’m not sure where that comes from, from Moeen, but that’s his opinion. 

"From my point of view as a cricket fan, I loved it. It was great. 

"I thought it was intense cricket. The games could have gone either way. 

"Four-nil wasn’t probably a fair reflection of how England played. I thought they played quite well. 

"For me, I think Test cricket is alive, and we only had to see the way people turned up to the whole game throughout the summer."