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England captain Alastair Cook believes that veteran batsman Ian Bell will benefit from a break from Test cricket, but added that he expects the 33-year-old to regain his touch with the bat sooner rather than later.
Cook’s comments come after Bell was dropped for England’s upcoming tour of South Africa, where they will play four Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals.
“It was a really tough call for the selectors and obviously your thoughts are with Belly,” Cook said. “You never want to miss out on any tour.
“At the end of the day, it is about runs on the board. I don’t think Belly has quite scored the number of runs he would have liked over the last year or so.
“I think this is a real good challenge for him. He has been a constant in the England side, or the England A side, or the under-19s. He probably has not stopped touring for 12 or 13 years, so a real good break, I think, will do him the world of good.
“He is a seriously good player and I think a bit of time away from the side will do him the world of good. I haven’t managed to get hold of him yet but there is definitely a way back.”