Moeen: Ashes misery made me a better player and stronger character

After starring with bat and ball at the Rose Bowl, Moeen Ali credited his stint back in county cricket for rediscovering his form.

Moeen Ali vs India Southampton Test

England spinner Moeen Ali claimed five wickets on his return to the Test side.   -  Getty Images

Moeen Ali never gave up on being part of England's Test team and paid tribute to the County Championship for getting him back to his best.

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The all-rounder was a casualty of England's miserable Ashes tour either side of the turn of the year and was dropped following the Test series with New Zealand in March.

His form for Worcestershire – which included a double hundred and six-for against Yorkshire - put him back in the picture, and he has taken his chance in the fourth Test at the Rose Bowl.

Having scored 40 in the first innings, Moeen took five Indian wickets on day two as England limited the tourist to 273 all out in reply to what had looked to be an under-par 246.

And while some may have questioned his future at Test level, Moeen always believed he would get back into Joe Root's side.

"I've loved being back at Worcestershire, having a good stint getting form back with bat and ball," he told a media conference.

"I really enjoyed going back to county cricket and getting a bit of a break. And it's always nice to get a call-up when you're in decent nick as you can have that confidence coming into the game. 

"It's doing what county cricket should be doing. Giving you the confidence to come back into the Test side and perform."

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He added: "It's about believing that you're not a bad player after one bad winter. Many players have gone through that, and for me it was just about moving on and making yourself a better player, a stronger character.

"You've just got to put things into perspective. Australia's always a difficult place for foreign spinners, no matter who they are.

"Mentally, I moved on pretty early. Yeah, it was a bad winter, but these things can happen to anybody. I went back to Worcester and cleared my mind."