Moeen Ali made an important contribution with the bat on his return to Test cricket to help England launch a recovery on the opening day of the fourth Specsavers Test with India at the Ageas Bowl.

The Worcestershire all-rounder was restored to the side for the first time in five months since making his 50th Test appearance in New Zealand.

He once again showed his worth batting at number seven after England had slumped to 86-6 shortly after his arrival into the middle.

The 31-year-old made an invaluable 40 as he and Sam Curran added 81 priceless runs as England recovered to 246 all out.

In the process, Moeen went past 2,500 Test runs at an average of just under 33.

Moeen went into the game bubbling with confidence after his 219 – and eight wickets – against Yorkshire in the Specsavers County Championship triumph at Scarborough.

He mixed solid defence with aggression and top edged a hook for six against Indian paceman Jasprit Bumrah.

Moeen then lofted spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who is returning to Blackfinch New Road next month for a second spell, for a straight six.

After facing 85 balls, and striking two sixes and two fours, Moeen went for a slog sweep against Ashwin and Bumrah came running in to mid wicket to hold onto the catch.

Curran went to a deserved fifty and was given more good support by Stuart Broad in a half century partnership.

Ashwin had the final say as Curran (78) went for a pull and was bowled to give him figures of 14.4-3-40-2.