Moeen Ali scored a disciplined half century batting for England on the opening day of the fifth Specsavers Test with India at the Kia Oval.
The Worcestershire all-rounder again filled the number three role and showed great discipline and concentration in testing conditions.
The 31-year-old – fresh from his man of the match performance in the fourth Test – and all his team-mates were given a searching examination by a probing India seam attack.
But Moeen dug in to bring up his fifty off 167 balls with a single off spinner Ravindra Jadeja. It contained four boundaries.
He received warm applause from his team-mates and the crowd who recognised that Moeen had reined in his natural instincts.
His innings came to an end the over after completing his half century without addition to his score.
The impressive Ishant Sharma found the thinnest of edges and Moeen was caught behind after defying the Indian attack for 59 overs and 170 deliveries.
Worcestershire Head Coach Kevin Sharp has been fulsome of his praise for Moeen and his determination to regain his place in the Test side after being left out for the two Tests versus Pakistan and the first three against India.
He said: People were possibly thinking that was it for Moeen at Test level. He is not one of those who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s a relaxed character, calm, thoughtful and he doesn’t get flummoxed easily.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him get cross or angry. Whether he does inside, he never shows it outwardly. He’s not a moaner or a complainer and he knows no-one has a divine right to a place.
“But you could tell he was very disappointed to be left out of the England team. He didn’t say too much but you just knew it hurt him deeply. He returned to the club with gritted teeth and great determination.
“He was going to leave no stone unturned. It was almost like he was saying ‘I am going to do this. I am going to get back in the England side.’”