Ian Bell insists he has been taking no notice of Australia's recent problems

Last Updated: 04/04/13 3:04pm

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England batsman Ian Bell insists he has been taking no notice of Australia's recent problems on and off the pitch.

Australia's preparations for this summer's Ashes series have lurched from one embarrassment to the next in recent months with a 4-0 series thrashing in India made worse by a disciplinary fall-out that saw four players - including vice captain Shane Watson - dropped from the side.

With skipper Michael Clarke currently struck down by a back injury, coach Mickey Arthur and his party have plenty to ponder with the first Test against England a little over three months away.

But Bell - who has been part of three Ashes-winning sides for England - is refusing to put much stock in claims of Australian disarray and instead believes England must focus on their own form.

"To be honest I try and stay away from it as much as possible (reports of Australia's problems)," he told Sky Sports. "We've had a lot of tough cricket this winter and we need to focus on what we do well.

"I think that's the important thing for me individually and as a group and not to be worrying about what's going on with Australia.

"It's always going to be tough, the Ashes is different to other Test cricket and I don't think we need to worry too much about what's happened in the past it will just happen in that first Test match.

"That first day, first hour is where we need to look and we'll be working as hard as we can as a group and individually with our counties to get ourselves in the best form we can for that series."

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