Ian Bell says England hit rock bottom in their embarrassing nine-wicket loss to Australia at Adelaide on Friday. They were routed for just 110 in 34.3 overs and Bell, who top-scored with 35, said the loss was even more disappointing than their Ashes failures earlier in the tour.
Bell said the defeat was his lowest point as an England player. "Probably for me it is [the lowest point]," he said. "Yesterday wasn't the highlight of my career playing for England so far. When we get to Perth we'll sit down and talk. I don't think straight after the game was really the time to do that ... and today we've got to reflect on it and make sure it doesn't happen again."
As calls from England for the sacking of Duncan Fletcher mount with each embarrassing loss, Bell said every tourist was culpable. "We're still one unit," he said. "We're right behind everyone and this has been a difficult tour for everyone. As individuals, we can't start making excuses. I think all of us have to take the blame for this."
Bell said England still had plenty to play for and still hoped they could be competitive in the World Cup, which is just six weeks away. He conceded confidence was down, but dismissed suggestions England were a shattered and fractured unit. England's next match is against New Zealand at Perth on Tuesday, with Michael Vaughan again likely to be missing with a hamstring strain.
Andrew Flintoff will get another chance to notch his first win as skipper on the tour, with England needing a victory to keep their hopes of reaching the tri-series finals alive. In a rare piece of good news for England, James Anderson has been cleared of any serious injury after suffering from back soreness and could play on Tuesday, while his fellow opening bowler, Jon Lewis, might also return from injury.