England captain Strauss right to miss tour, says Ian Bell
Ian Bell believes that captain Andrew Strauss was right to take a break while England were on tour in Bangladesh last month.
Warwickshire batsmen Bell is likely to play a big part in England’s busy 2010 itinerary which will culminate in their defence of the Ashes in Australia.
And he reckons that going in with a refreshed captain is the correct way to head into a year which will build up to that titanic struggle against an Australian side stung by their second successive Ashes defeat in England.
“It was important for Andrew Strauss to have a break because we want him to be fresh and in form as the leader to take us out to Australia next winter,” Bell said.
“We know everyone involved out there will have to be as fit and fresh as possible because Australia will come back hard at us.
“They did after 2005 when I think they felt a little bit humiliated and came back harder. Ricky Ponting and the rest will want to do the same so we have to show where we are as a side and take another step up and become a better side again.
“Hopefully this England team is building in the right way. Last time in Australia we had quite an inexperienced side, but our experience is growing all the time with the likes of Andrew Strauss, Ally Cook and Jimmy Anderson and hopefully we are getting to the point where we can retain the Ashes ou there.
“We have a big 12 months coming up with a lot of important cricket even before the Ashes and, personally speaking, I am as hungry as ever to keep getting better.
Not least I’m desperate to work my way back into England’s 50-overs a side.”
England hope to maintain momentum from the recent series win in Bangladesh, a country which, Bell reckons, will join the senior Test nations at some point.
“They are definitely a full nation in waiting,” he said. “The support in both one-day series and Tests was fantastic. The people were very enthusiastic about cricket and they have some good players. We enjoyed it there and are just looking forward to getting stuck into the summer now.”