Moeen Ali is practicing in readiness for the short ball barrage he expects from the Australian bowlers during the Ashes.

The England and Worcestershire all-rounder has missed the opening two warm-up matches of the Ashes tour with a side strain although he will return to action tomorrow tomorrow against a Cricket Australia X1 in Townsville.

But that has not stopped the 30-year-old working on his technique for the battles ahead with Mitchell Starc and Co in the five match series.

Moeen has been working in the nets with fielding coach Paul Collingwood throwing balls onto a wetted tray on a length from which the ball angles towards the batsman’s head.

He said: “I’ve been using the tray to exaggerate the pace of the ball and it sharpens you up.

“It’s an Indian drill. The tray is made wet and I’ve also brought some different type of balls with me which are slightly different to a normal cricket ball.

“You need a good thrower like Colly and the ball really skims off the tray. It exaggerates the pace of the ball coming at you.

“I’ve been hit loads of times but the more I’m doing it, the better I’m feeling.

“It doesn’t mean you are going to be the best player of fast bowling but you are going to be better than you were.

“Sometimes I try to take on the short ball, sometimes I duck or block it. In the past I didn’t have the technique to deal with it.”

Moeen also expects the Australian batsman to try and attack him but says that could work in his favour.

He said: “They will definitely come after me but it’s not anything new really. I’ve had that many times before so I’m not too worried.

“If they come after you with the bat, you’ve always have a chance of taking wickets. We will see.”