Updated: 19/08/2012 19:11 | By pa.press.net

Mixed feelings for Bell at number four



Ian Bell wished he could have lasted longer as he moved back up the England order to number four

Ian Bell wished he could have lasted longer as he moved back up the England order to number four

Ian Bell relished his unexpected opportunity to move back up the England order to number four - but just wishes his first experience there could have lasted longer.

Bell (58) shared a crucial century stand with Jonny Bairstow (72no) as England recovered from 54 for four on day two of the must-win Lord's Test to reach stumps on 208 for five, in reply to South Africa's 309 all out.

Bell has previously batted more regularly at six, or more recently five, in England's powerhouse batting order and of his own batting, and his 'new' position, Bell said: "I enjoyed it. I've always said I planned to move up the order, keep testing myself when I get the opportunity."

He added: "It was nice to get the chance at number four. It would have been nice to kick on and still be there, but I really enjoyed the responsibility of getting up the order more."

His chance has come, of course, because of the absence of Kevin Pietersen - controversially dropped after his contract wrangles and text message troubles in this Investec series.

On Friday night, Bell paid tribute to young Yorkshireman Bairstow - who would not be playing here had Pietersen not fallen out with his employers, and responded with a maiden Test half-century.

Bell hopes his and Bairstow's best efforts will help to keep England in with a chance of the victory they need to salvage a drawn series and stop South Africa taking away their world number one Test status.

He said: "Every run is going to be crucial on this wicket. It is just nibbling a little bit, probably more so than most Lord's pitches, but we know it's pretty good when the sun comes out.

"We need to get up to their score first. Obviously, the two guys (who) are in have a big part to play - I think it's going to be an action-packed morning, the way (Matt) Prior plays, Bairstow, (Graeme) Swann, (Stuart) Broad....there's not going to be too many block-shots around."

As for Bairstow, Bell could hardly help but be impressed, as he added: "From ball one, he looked really good to me. He didn't really change as the innings went on; he just took it a ball at a time. He played really, really well."

1Comment
19/08/2012 10:31
avatar
With a bowling attack as srtrong as S A it doen't matter where he bats.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

latest cricket news

  • Jos Buttler, left, and Ian Bell, right, were among the runs for England on Monday

    Ian Bell vented his frustrations on India's bowlers, but was equally delighted at being able to help debutant Jos Buttler make such a success of his maiden Test innings at the Ageas Bowl.

  • Gary Ballance, right, celebrates reaching 150 during day two of the third Investec Test

    Ian Bell and Test debutant Jos Buttler turned on the style to put England in command against India at the Ageas Bowl.

  • A close-up view of wristbands worn by England's Moeen Ali

    England are prepared to let all-rounder Moeen Ali continue wearing wristbands declaring his support for the population of Gaza, during the remainder of the third Investec Test.

  • Kevin Pietersen has been playing for Surrey in the NatWest T20 Blast this summer

    Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has signed a two-year deal with Australia Twenty20 franchise the Melbourne Stars.

  • Hashim Amla's South Africa team held on to secure a 1-0 Test series win over Sri Lanka

    South Africa will go back to the top of the International Cricket Council Test rankings after some stubborn batting helped them to a hard-fought draw against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

  • David Sales will bring his near 20-year professional career to a close at the end of the season

    Northamptonshire batsman David Sales has announced he will bring his 19-year professional career to a close at the end of the season.

  • Phil Jaques, pictured front, has impressed for Nottinghamshire this season

    Former Australia batsman Phil Jaques has been released from the second year of his Nottinghamshire contract after being appointed assistant coach of New South Wales Blues.

  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni, right, and Alastair Cook have been asked by the ICC to make no further public comments about the Anderson-Jadeja case until the disciplinary process is complete

    Captains Alastair Cook and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been urged to desist from any further public comment about the spat involving James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja, until the case has been fully heard.

  • Alex Hales' century helped Nottinghamshire to victory

    Nottinghamshire got their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign off to a winning start on Sunday as a century from Alex Hales helped them secure a 29-run Group B triumph against Sussex at Horsham.

  • Alastair Cook, pictured, has brushed off Kevin Pietersen's claims that he should resign as England captain

    Kevin Pietersen is the latest of at least five former England captains to call for Alastair Cook's resignation - but it is advice the incumbent insists he can and must ignore.

  • Angelo Mathews hit an unbeaten 63 on day four in Colombo

    Sri Lanka are on course to beat South Africa with one day to play in the second Test in Colombo - but bad weather could thwart their bid for victory.

  • Ian Bell has admitted his frustration with England's form

    Ian Bell knows it is time to take personal responsibility to end England's "hurt" against India.

  • Kevin Pietersen, left, feels Alastair Cook, right, must give up the captaincy to help his batting

    Kevin Pietersen believes embattled England captain Alastair Cook is only still in the job because it would be a "yet another PR disaster" for the England and Wales Cricket Board to sack him now.

  • Alastair Cook fell five runs short of a century

    Alastair Cook is back on the front foot as England captain and opener, after answering his many critics with a pivotal innings for England.

  • Hashim Amla shone with the bat but his team continued to struggle

    Dilruwan Perera helped Sri Lanka maintain control of the second Test in Colombo on the third day - despite the efforts of South Africa captain Hashim Amla.