A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: I think I was trying ‘too hard’ to prove myself at the beginning of the Test series against India, says Ian Bell

Bell blamed his poor form on the thought of becoming a father

England middle order batsman Ian Bell had admitted that he may have been trying “a bit too hard” to prove himself towards the beginning of the Test series against India.

Bell had been criticised for his lack of form heading to the subcontinent and his first ball duck in the first Test at Ahmedabad just added more fuel to the flames.

Despite getting out on a golden duck, Bell insisted that he will continue to attack spinners once he feels comfortable facing them.

However, Bell’s record in India is nothing to be proud of since he averages just 18.36 with the bat after playing six Test matches, the last of which includes the first Test of the ongoing series.

“Lately I have been trying a bit too hard to show everyone I can score in India,” Bell wrote in hisIndependent newspaper column. “I need to relax and trust my defence and know that if I spend time at the crease it will happen. I still have a lot of confidence about playing in the subcontinent, I have scored runs against Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka but India is the one place that I have not scored big and I know that is missing from my batting CV.

“Maybe from previous tours to the subcontinent I was thinking to myself that I wanted to be positive and not sit back and be passive. I know I have to get the balance right. It was a bit adventurous for a first ball but if you look back over my last 30 to 40 Tests, you’ll see the amount of times that I have got off and running against spinners like that. I am not going to put the shot away but I will reassess when I use it next time.”

Bell was absent for the second Test at Mumbai since he flew back to England to witness the birth of his child, Joseph.

The England batsman attributes his bad form to the fact that the thought of becoming a father had enveloped him during the build-up to the series.

“The first month in India was a weird time, I had things in the back of my mind but I was just trying to concentrate on my cricket,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I was in the best form, I wasn’t batting as well as I would’ve liked. I don’t know if that was down to everything going on, sometimes it just happens like that.”

Bell’s spot in the Test side is now under threat as players like Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan are looking to make their mark, but the first-time father stated that he had no regrets about flying home to be with his wife and son.

“On the cricketing side it’s a difficult decision to give someone an opportunity to take your place but I wanted to be here for my family and it is the best thing I have ever done and that will never change,” Bell added.

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