Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes believes Moeen Ali's maiden Test 100 was a testament to the improvements he has made to his game in the past few years and would have won over many of the cricketing pundits.

All-rounder Ali scored 108 not out in the second Test with Sri Lanka at Headingley after batting all through the final day.

But his efforts to save the game were thwarted when last man Jimmy Anderson, who survived bravely on nought for 55 deliveries, was dismissed off the penultimate delivery of the game.

Rhodes said: "I'm delighted for Moeen. It was a fighting performance. He showed a lot of spirit and determination and, although he is a Worcestershire player, he showed a lot of Yorkshire grit playing at Headingley.

"I'm sure the Yorkshire faithful would have been impressed with his determination and fight for the cause and it is a shame it didn't quite happen (the draw).

"But I don't think you can blame anybody apart from the fact the England team would have liked to have played better on the fourth day but that's cricket.

"They showed a hell of a lot of fight, particularly Moeen, and sadly it wasn't to be.

"But to get a hundred in your second Test and bat all day is testament to the improvement he has made over the last four or five years and the way he applies himself technically.

"It showed Moeen's understanding of cricket awareness which was needed in the latter stages.

"It was just a shame (to lose) but he can hold his head up and be very proud and I'm proud of him."

Former Worcestershire player Sir Ian Botham is predicting Ali's century was the first of many for his country

. Rhodes said: "I'll let Ian say that. That's his job to say things like that. My job is to get the best out of the players and support the players and try and help them maintain their good form which is not always easy.

"Moeen has not done himself any harm at all and I'm sure he has won over quite a few of the cricket pundits.

"You are under the microscope when you play international cricket and he's had a couple of dismissals which are a bit unlike Moeen to be honest in the first two Tests.

"To be perfectly honest, I'd knew he be determined to put it right and get some sort of start and he showed a lot of determination and his powers of concentration and stuck to his game plan. That's what he has been doing now for a few years with Worcestershire."

Ali also picked up two second innings wickets in his role as the part-time spinner in the England side.

Rhodes said: "He's desperately trying to prove to a few people as well as himself that he can bowl at that level.

"The more bowling he does, I'm sure the better he'll get. He has been our number one spinner for a while now so we know how we can trust him.

"Everything is about proving to people that you can do things and today he proved to people he can play a really big innings for England."

Rhodes is waiting to see whether Ali will be given permission by England to play in Worcestershire's LV = County Championship clash with Glamorgan at New Road starting on Sunday.

The five match Test series with India is due to get underway on July 9.