Bell out to restore pride
Ian Bell is determined to avoid a humiliating whitewash in the final Test against Pakistan.
Last Updated: 02/02/12 10:59am
England batsman Ian Bell is determined to avoid a humiliating whitewash in the final Test against Pakistan.
England are 2-0 down in the three-match series, and the focus has been on their dismal batting performances in the Tests so far.
Bell is one of those under the microscope and he insisted the final game was important in order to take at least some pride out of the series.
And as England held their first practice session at the ICC's GCA ground, Bell said: "It has been tough, but we all expected a big challenge.
"Credit to the Pakistan spinners, who have bowled really well. But that's gone now. The series is lost."
England must therefore put those disappointments behind them and concentrate on what they can do from now on, starting with the third Test which begins on Friday.
"We've got a really important last game," Bell added. "They're a very good side, and they got it right in the last Test.
"But we're proud to play for our country and this is as important a Test match as any."
England's misfiring top six out aneed to sort out a technical approach which means they can get established at the crease before spinners Saeed Ajmal or Abdur Rehman makes short work of them again.
Little they can do in net practice will replicate the mental pressures of Test match batting, though, in such vexed circumstances as those which saw them bowled out for just 72 in Abu Dhabi last week.
Bell believes nonetheless that England's problems have come in physical reality as well as in the mind.
"I'm not too sure about that," he said. "We've played some really good cricket around the world, and the last bit of the jigsaw is playing in the sub-continent.
"We are looking at areas we can improve mentally and technically. We are all hungry enough, and have scored runs in the sub-continent."
The solution remains to buckle down once more, and back the ability England know is there and which has taken them to the top of the world rankings.
"We have been in and out of form, and need to stay together and work hard.
"It's a great time to learn. We got to number one in the world, but there's so much more for us to improve and do as individuals and a team. You cannot stand still in this game."