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‘I’m still good enough for England’ – Ian Bell

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ian Bell believes that he can still make a return to England’s Test side, over three years since his last international appearance.

The Warwickshire batsman was discarded from the England set-up after the 2015 tour of the UAE, and has since continued to ply his trade for his county side without international recognition.

Nevertheless, after a successful summer – he scored 1027 runs at an average 54.05 in Division Two of the County Championship – Bell is not giving up hope of an England recall.

Bell batting in his last appearance for England – against Pakistan in 2015

Speaking exclusively to The Independent, he said: “I was very happy playing the kind of cricket that I know I can with Warwickshire and when I play at that level, I know that that’s still good enough to play for England.

“I just need to do that consistently,” added Bell.

It may just be that Bell is eyeing up a spot at No. 3, where England have struggled to find a batsman of consistency since the days of Jonathan Trott.

Jonny Bairstow is the current incumbent, having scored a match-winning 110 in the final Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Bairstow’s promotion in the batting order came after missing the first two Tests of the series, with Ben Foakes establishing himself as the first-choice wicketkeeper.

However, while praising Bairstow’s ability with the bat, Bell believes that the position is not necessarily the most suited to England’s ODI opener.

“I’m a big Jonny Bairstow fan but what do I think his best position is? Probably five or six.

“He’s an attacking player and that’s probably his more natural position.”

England are set to tour the West Indies in January next year, as they prepare for a home Ashes series next summer.

Bell will be occupied during the winter with a stint in the PSL that begins next February, having been drafted by Islamabad United alongside fellow county stars Samit Patel and Phil Salt.

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