Moeen Ali is relishing the opportunity to develop his spin bowling as he attempts to become a genuine all-rounder for England.
The 28-year-old made his name for Worcestershire as a batsman who could also bowl off-spin but since breaking into the England side in 2014, Moeen has transformed into their number-one tweaker.
And having struggled for form with the bat recently, Moeen has started to focus more on his slow bowling to ensure he remains a part of England’s plans in all formats.
“I always felt if I was going to break into the England team it would be as a batsman,” he admitted.
“That hasn’t worked out much and thankfully the bowling is what has kept me in the team.
“I’m bowling better than my batting now but I’m still hoping one day they can come together and I can play more like a genuine all-rounder.
“I always felt I tried to spin the ball a lot but the consistency was never there. I bowl a lot more than I used to now.
“I used to hardly practice, I’d bowl six or seven balls in the nets and think I was okay.
“Now it’s 60 or 70 balls minimum. I know it’s important for me and the team that I do well.
“I don’t see mine as the most important job but it is a key role.
“Whoever is in the XI will have a key role and hopefully the conditions will suit me, Rash (Adil Rashid) and Liam (Dawson) if he bowls.”
Moeen’s quest to improve his spin bowling has been enhanced by working with the likes of former England international Robert Croft.
He has also drawn information from Sri Lankan great Mahela Jayawardene, who has recently worked with the England squad.
“We’ve had Mahela here, I know he’s a batsman but he’s played with and against some world-class spinners so I’ve spoken to him,” he said.
“We had Robert Croft with us as a spin coach in South Africa so I think we’re going in that direction but for me, you learn most by playing so a spin coach is more to help you out and be more of a consultant.
“It would be nice but Ottis (Gibson) has been a big help too, probably my biggest influence in the past year or six months.
“He’s helped me a lot in trying to be consistent and understand my own action.
“And the good thing about being someone who can bat is you try to read the batsmen. You can get into the mind of a batter a bit more.”