England batsman Ian Bell talks to Sky Sports ahead of the start of a new domestic summer
Ian Bell told Sky Sports he is determined to help get English cricket "back on track" after a winter to forget.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 04/04/14 6:10pm
A disastrous tour of Australia and an early exit from the ICC World Twenty20 has left England's players with some major soul-searching to do ahead of the new domestic season.
Back at Warwickshire, Bell, along with county colleague Jonathan Trott, is set for a return to action this month looking to build some form ahead of the summer visits of Sri Lanka and India.
A number of places in the England starting XI for the first Test of the summer look up for grabs and Bell, hopeful he will be involved, is determined to help move the team back in the right direction.
He told Sky Sports: "We have to dust ourselves off and get English cricket back on track. A five-match series against India is the perfect opportunity to do that.
"Hopefully I've still got a big part to play as a senior player. I've got my 100th Test match this summer and I want to help the young lads coming through. It's a new challenge for English cricket.
"We don't know who the head coach is yet and there's no doubt there's going to be some massive changes. That's exciting though, and my hunger of playing for England and scoring runs is as much as when I started 10 years ago.
"I want to be able to help English cricket get back on track."
Bell is expected to feature in Warwickshire's first four LV= County Championship fixtures and will be reunited in the Bears changing room with Trott, who left the Ashes tour after the first Test loss in Brisbane.
Trott departed after that defeat with a stress-related illness and Bell, who did not foresee his close friend flying home under the strain, admits his availability for Warwickshire is a massive plus.
"It was a tough winter for everyone, but Trotty's obviously been in a difficult place and it's good to see him back here at Warwickshire," Bell added.
"Hopefully he can enjoy his cricket, start the season well and get back to some form. Selection is out of all of our control but all you can do is put runs on the board.
"I didn't see it coming (Trott leaving the Ashes early). It was tough. You never want to see your mate go home and be in a place like that.
"Hopefully he starts well at Warwickshire - which is a bonus for the club. If he's scoring ruins then the club are in a better place."
Bell offered up no excuses for England's 5-0 demolition at the hands of Australia and believes he and his team-mates were simply caught playing well below-par, something you cannot get away with Down Under.
"The facts state that we weren't good enough, Australia played some outstanding cricket and we were poor - that's the reality really," said Bell.
"In the summer it was the total reverse, we won the crunch situations in games, scored 100s and got wickets but everything reversed out in Australia.
"My experiences of playing in Australia have now been on both sides and you have to play above your best out there, certainly above average, everyone has to play well and you can't be par. We were below, got hammered and deserved to lose 5-0."
The England and Wales Cricket Board will appoint a full-time successor to Andy Flower as director of cricket in the coming weeks with Ashley Giles currently the frontrunner for the position, despite a winter to forget in temporary charge.
Bell has given his backing to his former county and international team-mate, believing the players are to blame for the recent dip in form by England.
On Giles, Bell said: "He's a very, very good coach. He's done a fantastic job at Warwickshire - he knows county cricket inside out and he's got massive passion for coaching England.
"He's desperate to win, he's desperate for things to move forward and he'd be a really good man to have in charge of English cricket.
"It's been a tough winter for all of us and the players have let the coaches down in that regard, we're well-prepared, we've got everything we need as players and at the end of the day we're the ones that cross the line - the coaches can't do anything from that point on."