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Bell boosted by seam options

Ian Bell was glad to see England seamers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn back in the nets today, but is sure Warwickshire team-mate Boyd Rankin is ready to step in if necessary.

England will look to get back to winning ways in the final NatWest Series encounter with New Zealand at Trent Bridge tomorrow before turning their attentions towards the Champions Trophy.

The injury-enforced absence of Broad and Finn - through a bruised knee and shin problem respectively - hindered the hosts as the Black Caps took an impressive and unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber, but both men were able to take part in this morning's fielding drills and later bowled off full run-ups.

"I guess I'm glad I don't have to make those decisions," said Bell. "But it's good to see them in the nets bowling. Having faced them both you know they are quality one-day bowlers."

England must now decide whether to give them the chance to prove their form and fitness before Saturday's Champions Trophy opener against Australia or give them time to reach peak condition.

"They've certainly been two massive performers in one-day cricket so to have them back fit - or certainly training - is a big boost," added Bell.

"It's always good to have a full squad and people competing for places. We'll see what the guys who have to make those decisions do."

Bell's Warwickshire colleague Rankin, pictured, joined the squad as cover and is pushing for an England debut even if Broad and Finn are fully fit.

The stylish right-hander is sure Rankin would be a strong addition, predicting tough times for any batsman on the receiving end of the rangy paceman.

"It's great for him to get in the squad. Facing him in the nets is horrible," he continued.

"It's good to have him charging in wearing an England shirt and if an opportunity comes his way hopefully it goes well."

Despite the recent back-to-back setbacks, Bell has urged his England team-mates to hold their nerve with tried and trusted methods as they look to lay the final foundations for a tilt at Champions Trophy glory.

"We have a method of winning cricket in these conditions, so it's important to stick to that and be positive," he said. "We don't want to go into our shells.

"English cricket, certainly in one-day form, has taken so many strides forward - and we don't want to go backwards now. We want to be as positive as we can be."

And Bell feels a key ingredient in stringing together a timely run of limited-overs wins lies in himself and his fellow batsmen turning promising starts into big scores, as county colleague Jonathan Trott did last time out at the Ageas Bowl.

"It's been frustrating," he added. "All of us feel in good form, but we've done the hard yards and got out.

"In the last couple of years, people have gone on and got big runs - which allows our bowling attack to defend good scores - or when we've chased, someone in the top four has had the responsibility to go through. Trotty did it two days ago, but we need more of it."

"I still believe we have the flexibility in that XI to chase big runs. We can do that, definitely."

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