Moeen Ali admits that his poor form should have seen him dropped sooner from England's Test squad.
The spinning all-rounder endured a disappointing Ashes series, where England were beaten 4-0 in Australia, and then made just 28 runs in the first of the two-Test series with New Zealand and failed to take a wicket.
Moeen consequently lost his place for the second contest, which England drew to lose the series 1-0.
However, the 30-year-old harbours no ill feelings towards captain Joe Root and is focused on putting in the hard yards in order to regain his spot in the line-up.
"When I didn't play the last Test in New Zealand it was a relief," Moeen told The Guardian.
"I could have been dropped three Tests earlier – I probably should have been – but Joe said he sees me as a match-winner and, with 50 matches of experience, they wanted to give me a longer run.
"It was almost like, 'right, now I can actually work on my game and mentally have a break from the pressure of playing'. When it's my time again, I will be ready."
Just eight months ago, Moeen was Man of the Series after England defeated South Africa on home soil and he feels his form may have been affected by the constant changing of his position in the batting order.
He added: "I have been up and down the batting order and it's difficult.
"People don't always realise that. If you look at my last 18 months, I went to from batting four and five in India – scoring two hundreds – then to number seven as second spinner at home before dropping to number eight.
"When we got to Australia I was down to bat six, then went to seven when the series started. You don't really know your role."
15. August 2018
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14. August 2018
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