The Ashes: Ian Bell 'absolutely willing' to step up to No 3 in Adelaide
Ian Bell has put up his hand to replace Jonathan Trott at No 3 when the second Ashes Test begins on Thursday.
Last Updated: 30/11/13 2:11pm
England will be forced to rearrange their batting line-up in Adelaide following Trott's decision to leave the tour with a stress-related illness.
And Bell, who has 21 caps for his country coming in first wicket down and made his highest Test score of 235 at No 3, is keen to step up.
Speaking after England's drawn warm-up game against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in Alice Springs, the current No 5 said: "We've spoken about it, and obviously I've said I'm absolutely willing to go to No 3.
"That decision is probably out of my control - we've got a number of options - but absolutely I'll put my hand up. We'll soon see."
Bell rejected suggestions the trip to remote Alice Springs was a strange way to prepare for Adelaide, where England will be attempting to recover from a mauling in the opening Test at Brisbane.
He said: "We've had the opportunity to regroup as team. It feels like you're away from the major Test-playing places in this country.
"It's given us the opportunity to spend a good bit of time together and talk about it a little bit. We've got a few of the younger guys on the field and we're ready to go to Adelaide now."
Of England's fringe players, Gary Ballance pressed his Test claims with a watchful half-century on day one, while Monty Panesar's three wickets on day two raised the prospect of two spinners playing in tandem come Thursday.
Bell said: "Gary Ballance has done really well, batting for a long period on a wicket that was not easy to score runs fluently.
"We want guys who are going to bat long periods of time in this series, so he showed some good character."
Panesar, who went through a summer of personal upheaval, was fluent from the start and shared seven wickets with Graeme Swann.
"It's not easy coming on tour when you've not played a lot of cricket," Bell said. "I'm sure he'll be a bit sore, but he bowled really well.
"It was nice to see him settle into a rhythm very quickly and it is a possibility he could play (in Adelaide) - we've got that flexibility if we need two spinners."
Can England get their Ashes defence back on track in Adelaide? Watch the second Test live, beginning at 11pm on Sky Sports 2 on Thursday.