Ian Bell: I am wary of an Australia backlash

Ian Bell today warned England to expect an Australia backlash as they prepare for the Ashes.

Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell has a Test average of more than 45, but the England man admits that figure must rise to 50 if he is to be considered as one of the best in the world
Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell has a Test average of more than 45, but the England man admits that figure must rise to 50 if he is to be considered as one of the best in the world

The Warwickshire batsman believes the tourists are still a threat – despite their plans being thrown into disarray.

Head coach Mickey Arthur was sacked and replaced by Darren Lehmann after poor form and indiscipline which saw David Warner fined and suspended for aiming a punch at Joe Root in a Birmingham bar.

England start as favourites at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, having won the last two Ashes series. But Bell insists Australia are not a spent force.

“I don’t read too much into any of that,” dismissed the 29-year-old. “It’s two good teams who are desperate to beat each other and that’s the beauty of Ashes cricket.

“The form and whatever has happened before goes out of the window. We’re in different conditions now. It’s the Ashes.”

It's so exciting to play a part in Ashes series - Big interview with Ian Bell in your Weekend Shropshire Star