Bell: Hard work paying off

Batsman's time at the crease this spring is reaping dividends

Last Updated: 20/05/12 7:20pm

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Ian Bell: Half-century kept England in the driving seat

Ian Bell: Half-century kept England in the driving seat

Sky Bet

Ian Bell believes weeks of hard work are starting to pay off as he helped keep England in front in the first Investec Test against West Indies.

The Warwickshire batsmen continued his form revival following a difficult winter on tour, scoring 61 as England 398 before the tourists collapsed to 65-4 in their second innings.

"Early in the English season you want to be careful driving the ball, and I wanted to be as patient as possible and let the bowling come to me. "
Ian Bell Quotes of the week

Only a rearguard action from Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels spared the Windies, although it was Bell who took the plaudits with his 30th Test half-century.

"It was nice to make a contribution that helped us to get a 150-run lead," he told Sky Sports. "It felt very good.

"Early in the English season you want to be careful driving the ball, and I wanted to be as patient as possible and let the bowling come to me.

"I think I got that rhythm at Warwickshire and I was able to be patient today."

Good form

He also put his hand up to be selected for the England Lions' clash with West Indies a week ago, and he is sure that time in the middle has helped him to return to form in the international game.

"It was a nice opportunity," he added. "We had a week off at Warwickshire and I felt like I'd got myself into good form and it was an opportunity for me to see West Indies' attack.

"I gave myself that extra preparation and it helped a lot. I prefer spending time in the middle and that's what I got."

He added that victory is far from inevitable given the presence of Shivnarine Chanderpaul at the crease.

"You expect a flat pitch at Lord's and we know we have to work hard here to get 20 wickets," he said.

"If we can get Chanderpaul in the morning, we're into their all-rounders and their bowlers. But they bowled well this morning and got themselves back in the game."

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