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Bell hails collective England effort

Ian Bell believes England’s success to date in the Investec Ashes Series owes much to contributions from throughout the team.

Having compiled vital centuries in back-to-back-Tests at Trent Bridge and Lord’s, Bell could perhaps be forgiven for blowing his own trumpet.

Yet the 31-year-old recognises the efforts of others - most notably James Anderson, Joe Root and Graeme Swann thus far - have also proven crucial in condemning Australia to consecutive defeats.

“That’s the importance of our side - no one really stands out,” Bell told ecb.co.uk.

“It’s about the bowling unit doing their jobs and the batting unit getting enough runs on the board so our bowlers can get 20 wickets.”

Bell reflects modestly on his own scores across the first two Tests, which read: 25, 109, 109, 74.

“The situations have demanded someone to go and do it and it’s nice that I’ve been able to stick my hand up and do it twice.

“The first two games have gone really well (but) they’ve been hard work. Certainly the first game was really close and could have gone either way and there were situations in the last game again where we had to work really hard for it and came through.

“They were two good games for us and hopefully the third one’s the same.”

Bell was speaking at the Jaguar Challenge in Warwickshire, which saw three current England players - Bell, Anderson and Jonathan Trott - compete against a trio of former Australia internationals in Damien Martyn, Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes.

“It’s good fun and it’s good just to get away from cricket,” said Bell.

“It’s important in the next couple of days to refresh mentally and physically and then we’ll switch back on when we meet up together and try and hit the ground running again.”

Manchester - and a redeveloped Emirates Old Trafford - hosts the third Test, starting a week today on August 1.

“I’ve only seen it on TV, with the changes, and it looks a great spot for Test cricket,” Bell reasoned.

“In the past, it’s been a good place to play. You can get pace and bounce, but also a bit of spin so it suits everyone. You can play your shots and it’s an exciting place to go for the third Test match.

“It’s a massive week for everyone and something we’re looking forward to. We’ve got to do a lot of hard work in those five days, a lot of preparation in the two days before, and if we can do what we’ve done in the last two and do our basics really well then hopefully it’s a good week for us.” 

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