The Ashes 2013: Ian Bell enjoying scoring heavily against Australia
Ian Bell has said that he enjoys scoring heavily against Australia, in contrast to displays early in his career, when he struggled to score against them.
Considered something of a whipping boy in his early days, Bell had only managed to average 32 in 18 Ashes Tests before this series. Some of the Aussies, especially Shane Warne, repeatedly taunted him for his apparent lack of grit.
But the Warwickshire batsmen has now come into his own and scored 3 hundreds in his last 3 Ashes Tests, also playing a major role in the victories at Trent Bridge and Lord’s.
“From my first couple of Ashes series I knew I had to improve on that,” Bell said.
“The Australian team I started against was pretty good, so it is nice to be putting my hand up now as a senior player when we’ve needed it.”
Indicating he felt extremely confident about his game, Bell was looking forward to move on to Old Trafford next, where he has a great record. He has been able to score two hundreds and a 97 in five Tests matches at the ground, and has an average of 87 there.
“I know that the Test matches I’ve been involved in there, we’ve got a good record so it is a good place for England to go to now,” Bell said.
“The 2005 Test was a game we were looking at targeting another win, but Australia battled right to the end.
“They were so excited about getting the draw, so you felt a little shift in the series right there because they were happy to get out of it.
“It was an intense game as all Ashes games are and I would expect another tough game coming up.
“Coming into this series it has been about contributing to the team and at Lord’s we had to work hard in different periods of the game and we got our rewards at the end.
“It has been hard work, but these couple of days will give us a nice break from the cricket so we’re right for Old Trafford.”
England are 2-0 up already and just need a draw in the next test, to retain the Ashes. It is interesting to note that the last time an Ashes Test was played at this ground, the match did end in a tie.