It’s been a ‘frustrating’ day for us, admits Ian Bell

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“A lot of guys got starts so it’s disappointing no one has gone on and got a big score”

England batsman Ian Bell has admitted that it’s been a “frustrating day for us” after the tourists ended on 226/6 on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test.

Kevin Pietersen was the stand out performer for England as he remained unbeaten on 67.

“I guess it’s been a bit frustrating,” Bell told Sky Sports. “Kev is not out, which is a good sign for us, but a lot of guys got starts so it’s disappointing no one has gone on and got a big score.

“On a good surface, we’d like to be a few wickets less but Australia bowled well. Hopefully we’ll get close to 300-plus and put a bit of pressure on Australia possibly.

“We need big runs and we’ve not got them, but if Kev and Bres (Tim Bresnan, one not out) can hang around, maybe we will get 300 plus and put some pressure on Australia.”

When asked if England’s batsmen were not in form or if Australia’s bowling was just too good, Bell said: “Perhaps it’s a bit of both. I’ve been in good touch personally but I am as guilty as anyone. It’s something we’re aware of and need to work on. We need to get back to scoring big runs.

“We need to find the right balance and put pressure on the bowler. I go out to try and run hard and not allow the bowlers to bowl, but you can only hit what you get given.

“We want to score as many runs as possible, that’s the idea of batting.”

Bell also stated that he liked the fact more younger players were being included in the squad.

“The camp is good, it’s good to see young, fresh faces,” he said. “We are trying to enjoy this occasion and scrap hard. We showed fight today with young guys.”

Speaking about off-spinner Graeme Swann’s sudden decision to retire from international cricket, Bell said: “Everyone is entitled to make their own decision on when their time is up. I’ve not spoke properly with Graeme, but that was his decision. He felt he had no more.

“He’s been a great player to play with for England.”

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