Bell not resting on his laurels
Ian Bell is not ready to claim England's opening role as his own despite his immediate success in the NatWest one-day international series against West Indies.
Bell was named man of the series following Friday's rained-off final match at Headingley after proving England need not fret about Kevin Pietersen's retirement from the limited overs formats. The Warwickshire right-hander is therefore a certain starter for the upcoming five-match series against Australia, which starts at Lord's on June 29, but denies his place is safe just yet.
"It's nowhere near job done. For me it was nice to start well and obviously I want to keep playing and batting as much as I can with Cooky at the top of the order and keep trying to get us off to good starts," he said.
"If we can do that more often than not we've got that middle order firepower to get the good scores.
"With good scores on the board we've already seen in this series, with five world-class bowlers, it's going to be hard to whack around the pitch."
After proving he is fit for the 50-over format with a stylish 126 on his recall in the opening game, Bell struck 53 in the second match, when fellow opener Alastair Cook reached three figures, to provide the foundation for convincing back-to-back wins.
Bell's limited overs career has endured a couple of false starts before his latest chance looked like being taken away when he suffered a cut chin after top-edging a ball into his face in training on the eve of the series.
The 30-year-old revealed that blow may have even taken the pressure off after admitting this could have been his last chance to crack the 50-over game.
"Possibly (it was his last chance). I didn't really think about it to be honest with you, the hit on the head took a lot of my thoughts away from what-ifs and things like that," he said.
"I just wanted to watch the ball and luckily I felt in pretty good form from the Test matches. I believed if I could just carry on that type of form then I could score runs in the one-day format. That was important to me."
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