Image courtesy of: The Telegraph
“I want to carry on and I believe at 31 I’m in the best time as a batsman”
England batsman Ian Bell is aiming to be his country’s Ashes hero once again after his heroics during the historic series this summer helped the national team register a convincing 3-0 win over arch-rivals Australia.
Bell was the top run-scorer in the last Ashes series with 562 runs, which included three centuries and two centuries, at an impressive average of 62.44.
“As a young player growing up, you watch Botham’s Ashes and you want that to happen to you and to be named the man of the series and win the Compton-Miller medal is exactly what I wanted to achieve,” Bell said. “I was really happy how the series panned out for me personally and that is what I’ve been trying to do for a long time in series like that.
“It was nice to achieve that, but I don’t think that is the finish of it. I want to carry on and I believe at 31 I’m in the best time as a batsman.
“I’ve had a couple of good series against Australia and that was really important to me individually, but that has gone now.”
The last time England traveled to the Land Down Under for the Ashes was in 2010-11, when current captain Alastair Cook smashed 766 runs, which, to this day, is the second-highest number of runs scored in an Ashes series by an Englishman.
Cook scored three centuries and two half-centuries during that series and batted for over 35 hours, while also maintaining a sublime average of 127.66.
“We want somebody with the bat in the top six to have a series like Cooky did last time,” Bell said. “It was an incredible spell of batting concentration-wise and technique.”
Cook is currently struggling with a back niggle and he even skipped training today as a result of it.
However, Bell was confident that Cook would be “fine in the next few days”.
“He is a massively important person for us, and not just as captain in the way he speaks to the guys and his calmness; his runs are massively important too,” Bell added. “We’ve all got those areas we have to monitor and look after and Cooky has to monitor his back. He swims a lot and I’m sure he’ll be fine in the next few days.”