Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England batsman Ian Bell has announced that the first Test against Sri Lanka will be “really important” as the national team look to put their nightmarish tour of Australia behind them.
Even though the upcoming Test match will be Bell’s 99th Test, he made it clear that “the team will always come before me”.
“Graham Gooch once told me the only match that means anything or the only innings that means anything is the one you’re in right now,” Bell said. “The 100th is at the back of my mind and I’m really excited about that. But this game at Lord’s is really important for us to start the summer off well.
“We’ve got seven Tests on the bounce and the team will always come before me. My milestone at Headingley is not important at all right now. Let’s start well at Lord’s, and then go from there. It is vital we kick things off against Sri Lanka as well as possible.
“There are new faces all around, and nothing would be better than to give everyone a taste of success straight away. I hope this is the start of something special for me and the team, helping some of these young guys through.”
Speaking about the disastrous tour of Australia, where England were whitewashed 5-0 in the Ashes series, Bell said: “It is easy to look at the winter and get down but to win three Ashes on the bounce means we must have been doing something right.
“It was going to come to an end at some point but we wish it hadn’t been quite so dramatic. To lose 5-0 was devastating and hurt a lot of people.”