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Moeen ready to take on Australia's short stuff

Moeen Ali is prepared for a barrage of short-pitched bowling during the Ashes but believes that could be the opportunity for him to attack and feels ready for whatever Australia will throw at him.

Moeen completed an outstanding home summer with the Man-of-the-Series award in the ODIs against West Indies after excelling with the bat, making 102 off 57 balls at Bristol and an unbeaten 48 off 25 to take England above the DLS requirement before rain arrived at The Oval.

That followed a prolific Test series against South Africa were he became the first player to score 250 runs and take 25 wickets in a four-match series. Overall in England's seven-Test season he scored 361 runs at 32.81 and took 30 wickets at 21.30; in 11 ODIs he scored 283 runs at 70.75 and a strike-rate of 159.88. Although his five wickets came at over 70, his economy rate was respectable at under a run-a-ball.

Moeen played a vital role in the 2015 Ashes - his lower-order partnerships Stuart Broad, especially at Edgbaston, giving England crucial late runs - but there is a thought that his technique against the short ball will be tested down under with him occasionally having had trouble when batting higher up the order.

"It's something I've been working on and I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I feel when you get in it's a good place to bat. The ball doesn't swing as much and hopefully whatever number I come in, I can express myself. I'm going to have to change a couple of things about the way I play but in terms of mindset I'll just go and do what I normally do. The good thing is I've played against them before and I don't want to speak too early or too confident but I'll make sure I'm ready for it.

"Hopefully they'll get tired doing it [bowling the bouncer]. But you get chances to score all the time with the short stuff and I'm going to work hard on that. I am very excited about it."

Quite what role Moeen will play in the Ashes is now up in the air with Ben Stokes' participation in the series uncertain. Should England be without Stokes, Moeen could be required to move up to No. 6 or 7 to fill the void. He has batted in every position from one to nine over his 44-match career, although 26 of them have been at seven or eight, and he has never made any secret of being keen to move up the list.

"Yes, definitely. I'd love to bat wherever," he said. "The higher up the better, I'd be very comfortable. Number eight, I'm kind of used to at the moment but if I get told to bat seven I feel capable of doing well there. Hopefully I can show that I can go out there and play against their bowlers and play well against them."

After a short post-season break, Moeen plans to work hard on his fitness ahead of leaving for Australia at the end of October aware of the physical demands the conditions could put on him.

"I think I'll give myself two weeks to prepare and come back and get a bit fitter. Batting and bowling is going to be hard out there so I just want to get ready for those conditions and keep up the confidence I have at the moment.

"It's something when you're a young player you're thinking you'd love to be on that tour. I never ever thought I would be on a tour like this and to be going, I'm very fortunate. Hopefully I can go out there and perform."