Bell enjoying the opening role

Bell enjoying the opening role

One man’s loss is another man’s gain. Ian Bell was down and seemingly out of contention for a spot in the World Cup squad when he wasn’t picked for a single of the recent five-game ODI series in Sri Lanka following his failures against India at home while batting at No 3.  

The sacking of Alastair Cook, however, opened the door for Bell and with the firm backing of new captain Eoin Morgan the right-hander looks to consolidate his position at the top of the order after a fluent unbeaten 88 against India on Tuesday.

“Probably not at that time,” said Bell when asked if he thought he would be back opening after how things panned out in Sri Lanka. “I thought I would get on the trip as someone with experience and could play a variety of roles, whether it is opening or in the middle. But on a personal note, when I spoke to Morgs (Morgan) when we first got out here and he said ‘I want you to open,’ it was a massive confidence boost for me.

“Looking back, in my time playing one-day cricket for England, my most successful time has been opening the batting. It was nice to start this tour off how I wanted to do and if we get back to the previous time of those two years me opening the batting, it will be good for the team,” he explained.

Bell said it was crucial for England to win Friday’s game. “Massive,” he said when asked how important the game is going to be. “It’s going to be a good game, isn’t it? Again, Australia are playing good cricket but for us every game is important as we build up towards that World Cup.”

Australian skipper Steven Smith spoke of getting their over-rates right. Smith is leading the side in the absence of George Bailey — suspended after a second slow over-rate offence in a span of 12 months. “I am really looking forward to leading the boys tomorrow against England,” Smith said. “There’s always that great rivalry playing against England. It’s obviously very disappointing for George not to be here, that’s not what we are about with our over-rates being down. Boof (Darren Lehmann) gave us a pretty big rocket after last game and that’s something we are going to improve on.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry