Moeen Ali has described his break from international cricket as 'liberating' and said he is in no rush to return.
Moeen last played in the first Ashes Test, after which he decided to take a break. Following England's 0-1 loss to New Zealand recently, he conceded he was tempted to return for the South Africa series, but has decided against it insisting the time away will prolong his career.
"In the past week I have read that I don't take wickets overseas, when I felt I was making progress in this department," he wrote in The Guardian. "Sometimes it can feel like my bad days in Test cricket get amplified or singled out more than other players, while my good ones can fly under the radar. I'm not making excuses but over time this can get to you a little bit.
"The time away has felt quite liberating. Since my international debut in 2014 the miles on the clock have probably crept up and Test cricket is the level where the pressure and scrutiny are greatest. Combining it all had become a bit draining and rushing back now might have seen nothing change in this regard.
"I have put no timeframe on things. I just want to get that buzz back - a feeling of making my debut again - and ultimately become a better player for it."
Moeen has played the Mzansi Super League and Abu Dhabi T10 League in his time off Test cricket, and will also feature in the Pakistan Super League. He has been criticised by former England players, but Moeen defended his decision.
"Representing England has always been a privilege and my decision to take a break from Test cricket at the end of the home summer was made to ensure that, hopefully, I can do it for a lot longer," Moeen wrote.
"The past few years have been so full-on and the plan behind my break from Test cricket was to freshen up, enjoy some new environments and get my game back in good order. That is something that people perhaps don't realise is hard to do when you play all three international formats and particularly so when you are an allrounder."
Moeen looked back at the year as one of success, recalling the World Cup win as a high point.
"As well as becoming a dad for the second time, I look back on the past 12 months in cricket with a huge amount of pride and satisfaction," he wrote. "To be part of a World Cup winning squad was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There was no resentment or sadness from missing the later games. The tournament became seamer-heavy in terms of conditions and I had full faith that Eoin Morgan was picking the right team to win. He always explained his decisions to me. So this was anything but a hard time."