Moeen Ali can reflect on a golden three months with the ball in Test cricket after helping England complete a 3-0 series whitewash in Sri Lanka.

The Worcestershire all-rounder equalled the record for the most wickets by an England bowler in a Test series in Sri Lanka.

Moeen ended with 18 wickets at an average of 24.50 – the same number as Jack Leach – and the spin pair emulated the achievement of Ashley Giles during the 2003-2004 tour of Sri Lanka.

It means that Moeen has taken 30 wickets in just five Tests since regaining his spot for the final two Tests of the summer versus India.

England skipper Joe Root said: “Moeen has really stepped up as a senior bowler within that group (of spinners) and led the way.

“He has been quite vocal at times on the plans and tried to get the best out of the other two (Leach and Adil Rashid). He deserves a lot of credit for that.”

Add in Moeen’s success for Worcestershire in Specsavers County Championship cricket and leading the team to Vitality Blast glory and it has been a memorable period for the 31-year-old.

He now has taken 163 Test wickets and his average per wicket is gradually dropping and is now down to 37.44.

Moeen picked up four wickets on four occasions during the Sri Lankan series – an indication of how consistently he bowled in the spin-friendly conditions.

He had returns sof 4-66 and 4-71 in Galle, 2-85 and 4-72 in Pallekele and then 0-55 and 4-92 in Colombo.