Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bell has Ashes in sight but must keep eye on own form

Ian Bell has revealed what many cricket fans in the betting world already feel ahead of England’s Test series with New Zealand in March, that victory is crucial to building momentum for the summer Ashes.

England face a tough challenge in New Zealand against a Kiwis side still hurting after their T20 and one-day series defeats to the tourists this February. They will push the tourists’ top order to the limit
over three matches and should keep give England’s fast bowlers a good workout.

“Looking ahead it would be nice, having won in India, to win this series and it would give us nice momentum going into a big summer for us at home,” Bell told BBC Sport.

“There are some world-class players in that New Zealand team and we are going to have to play some really good cricket to beat them.”

Indeed, maybe Bell more than most has to play well over this series if he is to cement his place in the team for the summer. For Bell, although rising through the England ranks last season, is in danger of losing his place should the team’s fresh faces continue to shine.

Joe Root has proved a superb international batsman over the past four months, and has been tipped by
former England captain Michael Vaughan over at http://betting.betfair.com/cricket/michaelvaughan/ to earn a regular place in the side. He knocked two half-centuries against New Zealand this month and making 93 over two innings on his Test debut in

If Root cannot push Bell out then maybe Jonny Bairstow can, the Yorkshireman blooded through the England squad last year in preparation for the Ashes.

Bell’s recent performances at the crease have been respectable, but in the Test whites he has only made one major contribution in his last six innings – a 116 against India in Nagpur – and only truly impressed against a weak West Indies attack last summer.

If Bell is to keep his place he must contribute runs against the Kiwis and make himself undroppable from the team. Competition is healthy in England’s order and no one’s place is guaranteed, especially a man who starts at five.

For more information on England cricket betting ahead of the NZ Test series head over to: http://betting.betfair.com/cricket/england-cricket/ 

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