Bangladesh in England 2010 July 7, 2010

Strauss confident 'world-class' Bell can deliver

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Strauss believes 'world-class' Ian Bell has what it takes to replace the resting Kevin Pietersen at No. 3 for England in their one-day series against Bangladesh that starts July 8.

Bell has played 79 ODIs for England but hasn't featured since England played India in Bangalore back in November 2008. In his absence England have rebranded their limited-overs approach and have become more powerful and aggressive, a strategy that delivered the World Twenty20 and the recent 3-2 series victory over Australia.

While outside the England team Bell has performed well for Warwickshire and England Lions, making 158 in his most recent outing against India A and Strauss is sure he can bring that confidence into the three-match series.

"His form this year has been excellent," Strauss told reporters. "He's played, by all accounts, very positively and very aggressively for both Warwickshire and the Lions. He's a good package and potentially he is a world-class player."

Bell has made a big effort to transform his game and add more shots to a technique often associated with more finesse and he's been rewarded with a strike rate of 104.29 from his six Clydesdale Bank 40 games this year.

"He's always had the shots, the key is always when to use them," said Strauss. "At the moment, he's taking on the shots more and finding he's a good enough player they'll come off more times than not. He's really maturing as a cricketer. I don't think he's trying to prove to people he can play. He's more comfortable with his game and I think that's why his results have been better."

It's a mark of a player who has grown in confidence after a winter in which he finally answered the critics who said he only performed when the pressure was off. In South Africa he memorably hit 140 in England's win at Durban and followed it up with a five-hour 78 to help England save the next Test at Cape Town.

"He was very keen to play an innings of real substance when England were under pressure and he's been able to do that a couple of times in the last six months, which is a nice step forward for him," Strauss said.

Strauss's opposite number, Mashrafe Mortaza, said he thinks his side can be a slippery prospect in the limited-overs game and has backed his star batsman, Tamim Iqbal to continue where he left off after making successive hundreds in the Test series against England.

"I think we are a better team in one-day cricket than in Test cricket and I think this game suits us more," he said. "A few of the batsman in our side are in good form and hopefully a few other guys can join in.

"Tamim Iqbal is definitely a guy who can change the game for us. We are looking for him (to perform) but not just him: Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Jahurul Islam too. There are a few guys who can do good things for us and hopefully they will do that here."

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  • mark on July 8, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    Strauss is spouting turd of the bull...Bell is "world class" only against third rate bowling attacks....He's going to be found out again in Australia this winter...

  • mukesh on July 8, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    Current England team with a lots of bits and pieces players will get lot of favorable results. England still lacks genuine allrounders and depth in batting without KP is only colly and morgan.Strauss is not a great ODI Batsmen. Looking back at keiswetter ,wright and yardy i hardly find it surprising to see BELL back. BELL is way better then wright,yardy and keiswetter as batsmen. But as package i buy yardy and keiswetter by not wright over BELL. Englands taking too much of chances with so called handy allrounders of keiswetter,wright,yardy,bresnan rather then developing broad(bating) and using more of colly (bowler) and developing KP(spin option). If things go fine with current setup surely England will compete and win a lot of T20s. but ODI is different ball game and need atleast 10 overs from part timers of wright , colly and KP. Which by all means could be easily done by KP. Good luck England for whitewash!!!!But Bangla always is dangerous as format gets away from TEST Cricket!!!

  • zulfiquar on July 8, 2010, 1:30 GMT

    England will destroy BD tomorrow with overcast conditions in Nottingham. Too bad for BD. But BD can be no threat to Eng uder overcast conditions. If Mortaza wins toss and elects to field, then it is little confidence in his own swing capabilities. Atlease Shakib was a spinner and he had no confidence in his pace bowlers. Mortaza being cap'n, I hope he shows some mettle. Otherwise, might as well not show up. I hope I am proven wrong, but after not seeing a single effort from BD to remember, I have a bleak opinion.

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