‘The guys are hurting’, admits Ian Bell

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“As an England team we haven’t done anything close to what we are capable of doing”

England batsman Ian Bell has admitted that the “guys are hurting” after they were once again the victims of a brutal spell of bowling by Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson during the third day of the second Test in Adelaide.

England were bowled out of just 172 in their first innings with Bell and opening batsman Michael Carberry combining for 132 of those runs, while Johnson claimed seven wickets.

“It’s thoroughly disappointing,” Bell told Sky Sports. “Obviously it’s a very good wicket here and again we haven’t given our bowlers any opportunity to get back in the game.

“The guys are hurting but I can reassure you that they are training hard and will do everything they possibly can to try and put this right in the second innings.

“As a group we’ve shown over a number of years now the amount of fight we have in that dressing room. Okay, we haven’t put it quite right on this trip just yet, but there are a lot of guys in there, and there is a lot of cricket still to go in this series, and we will show people we have got that fight.

“It starts tomorrow and then the last day. We certainly have to fight hard.

“Obviously Mitchell Johnson has bowled very well in this series, give him credit for that, and as a unit they have bowled well, but as an England team we haven’t done anything close to what we are capable of doing.”

Despite being disappointed with England’s batting performance, Bell was pleased to score some runs and remain undefeated on 72 off 106 balls, which included nine boundaries and four sixes.

“It’s nice to spend a bit of time in the middle and I feel in pretty good form – it’s carried on quite nicely since the summer,” Bell said. “I’d like to get out there and score as a big a runs as possible. As a group, if we can start doing that we can give our bowlers the best chance.”

With Bell having shown his class lower down the order once again, there will be mounting calls for him to be promoted up the order to the number three spot, which was vacated when Jonathan Trott returned home with a stress-related illness.

“It’s [not] my decision,” Bell said when asked if he was likely to be promoted up the order. “I’m happy to bat anywhere for the team. I thought ‘Rooty’ played very, very well until his dismissal. He shaped up brilliantly against the new ball.”

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