Injury scare for Bell

Batsman has 10 stitches in chin wound and possible jaw fracture

Last updated: 16th June 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Injury scare for Bell

Ian Bell: Injured in the nets

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Ian Bell could still be fit for England's opening one-day international against West Indies at the Rose Bowl on Saturday despite being hit on the chin in practice.

The opener took a blow taking throw-downs in the indoor net and went to hospital, where he had 10 stitches in a wound.

The England and Wales Cricket Board revealed Bell had also suffered a possible non-displaced fracture of the mandibular condyle bone in his jaw.

But Sky Sports understand Bell - who is in line to open the batting after the retirement of Kevin Pietersen from the limited-over formats - is likely able to take his place in the starting XI in Southampton.

England captain Alastair Cook said of Bell's injury on Sky Sports News HD: "He was playing a pull shot and he top-edged the ball onto his chin, he's got quite a nasty gash on his chin and a sore jaw, so he's gone to hospital for an X-ray and stitches and we'll know more later this afternoon."

Cook added: "We'll announce the team at the toss like we normally do, we'll just have to play that one by ear."

Discovery

For England, a voyage of discovery is about to begin as they work out how best to deploy those who have outlived Pietersen.

"Clearly Kevin is a world-class player," said Cook.

"He's scored a lot of runs and has played some match-winning innings for England.

"But we have won games before without Kevin Pietersen, against Pakistan in 2010 and against India - and it is time to move on now.

"Clearly when he's in the form he is now he'll be missed - but we'll move on as a team.

"It gives an opportunity to someone else to make those middle overs theirs."

Pietersen's retirement shocked the world of cricket, including his ODI captain - who was not part of the reportedly vexed negotiations which preceded it.

"It came as a surprise, because he was playing so well, but when he makes a decision he makes a decision.

"Clearly those discussions have gone on with the ECB and Andy Flower - and that's probably where those discussions should have been.

"Yes it's disappointing, but we move on and replace him."

Thrive

In Bell, who made his only ODI hundred at this ground in 108 matches to date, Cook is confident the right man will be in situ against the new ball - in the medium if not yet for sure the immediate term.

"I think the best players can adapt to all conditions, and we've all seen how good Belly is in Test cricket," he said.

"In one-day cricket, he'll be the first to admit he hasn't quite reached the heights he would have liked.

"But I don't see any reason why he can't thrive in one-day cricket now."

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