England all-rounder Moeen Ali admitted that chief selector Ed Smith's comments in May about him not being a first-choice spinner in the Test side hit him hard, but reckoned he used it as springboard to reclaim his position in the side.
"It hit me hard. It was disappointing. I felt like they were looking for someone else. But it spurred me on," Moeen said.
Moeen's name was missing from the first squad - to play against Pakistan in May - that Smith was incharge of picking since being named the selector. Moeen missed the entire Pakistan series as Dom Bess was preferred and only offered a way back via the fourth Test of the five-game series against India at home. He responded with nine wickets in the fixture in Southampton, that England won by 60 runs.
"I did need that break at the time. Maybe if I'd been picked versus Pakistan I wouldn't have bowled well. But I came back against India fresh, scoring runs and taking wickets and I felt at the top of my game.
"I still had the belief. So to get back in the side and prove I can do the job is... [pleasing]."
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