By Guest Author.
England batsman Ian Bell says that England will fight hard to stay as the number one side in Test cricket. South Africa took the first Test at the Oval comfortably and if England lose the series, they will be knocked off top spot.
In the poor second innings of the Three Lions, Bell was the stand out performer as he scored 55 from 220 balls. In the end though, it was not enough to save the match as wickets around him kept falling.
Now though, Bell believes the team have the strength to bounce back and take the series, he said: "In the next two Tests, we have to go out and fight for every single run and wicket and try to hold on to number one. “We're all very proud that we've got to number one, and we definitely want to stay there for a long period of time."
The second match of the series comes from Headingley and England know they will need to seriously up their game if they are to be victorious. There is no doubt that England have the talent to go on and win the remaining matches, but this is the biggest challenge they have faced for some time now.
Bell is determined not to lose the number one spot though and has admitted that rankings don’t mean a thing when you are playing: "It proves to us that, no matter where you are ranked, you have to keep performing.” He added: "Opposing teams see us a bit differently now. Maybe they turn up desperately wanting to beat us, and we have to react to that."
The middle order batsman has been in good form and seems as though he is settled coming in at number five. Bell is certainly a flair player that likes to play his shots, something that batting a bit lower down the order allows him to do when the team are playing well. He also has the ability to grind out an innings if required.
The Warwickshire man believes that the motivation skills of Andy Flower could play a massive part in the remainder of the series. "Andy Flower will want everyone to scratch their minds and work out how they can improve - that's why he is such a great coach.", he said.
The second Test from Headingly gets underway next Thursday and it is sure to be another superb five days of Test cricket.
By Guest Author.