Cape Town - Moeen Ali believes taking a break from Test cricket will allow him to prolong his international career, and hit back at the criticism that he has received after his decision to miss the upcoming series in South Africa.
The 32-year-old was dropped in the middle of the Ashes in the English summer and decided to take time out from the longest format and missed the recent tour to New Zealand.
It was expected that Moeen would then be available for the four Test matches against the Proteas, starting on Boxing Day, but decided to skip the tour.
The spinning all-rounder has still been playing cricket as he has taken part in the Mzansi Super League and the Abu Dhabi T10 while he has also been signed up for the Pakistan Super League.
Former England captain's Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan stated that national selectors should not consider Moeen for Tests in the future.
Writing in a column for the , Moeen said: "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.
"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 all-rounder."
Moeen also described the last 12 months in his career as a "once-in-a-lifetime experience" after he helped England win the World Cup on home soil.
"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," Moeen wrote.
"To be part of a World Cup winning squad was a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
Moeen is still expected to be selected in England's limited-overs squad that will play three ODIs and three T20Is in South Africa after the Test series.
England Test squad to South Africa:
Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood