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Bell ready for responsibility

By Dominic Farrell

Ian Bell insists the buck will stop with England’s players during the Peter Moores era.

The Warwickshire batsman was instrumental in getting Moores’ second stint as Head Coach off to a winning start as he struck a fine half-century from the top of the order against Scotland at a sodden Mannofield Park.

With matches across the formats to come against Sri Lanka and India this summer, Bell is steeling himself to deliver further definitive performances as England pick up the pieces from last winter’s Ashes defeat in Australia.

"Looking back, you can't blame the coaches for what happened in the winter," he said.

"We should have taken responsibility and didn't do that. We hope he will now give us the chance to make amends.

"The players have to stand up and score runs and take wickets, no matter who's coaching.”

Although clear in his wish not to place too much emphasis on the backroom team headed by Moores and assistant Paul Farbrace, Bell has been mightily impressed by the early days of the new regime.

Ian Bell has urged England's players to take responsibility for their own performances this summer - something he did superbly in Aberdeen

"We've got two guys who have been brilliant so far,” said the 32-year-old, who has 246 caps international caps and is now England's second-highest one-day international run-scorer.

"They will be finding their feet over the next few days, but they have challenged us already.

"We've really enjoyed it, but it's about the players standing up and winning games for England."

Yesterday’s ODI in Aberdeen effectively became a Twenty20 contest as rain curtailed the action.

Bell has endured a lengthy absence from the shortest form but might have pressed his claims with a composed 50 on the back of being called into England’s squad when injury ruled Joe Root out of the World T20 two months ago.

Nevertheless, a player who is arguable the most technically gifted at England’s disposal is realistic over his chances when fresh ODI and T20 groups are announced on Tuesday.

"I hadn't played a Twenty20 game for three years for anyone," he said of what was ultimately a watching brief in Bangladesh. “It's hard to get into the team when I hadn't played.

"I recognised I was there as cover, and the only way I could have played was at the top of the order. But (Alex) Hales and (Michael) Lumb have been very strong there for a while now, so unless there was an injury I wasn't going to play."

Bell’s ODI and Test involvement is virtually beyond debate and he draws strength from the productive summer England enjoyed under Moores in 2007, one that also came on the back of an Ashes whitewash.

He added: “Having been involved in 06/07, I think it is possible to turn things round, and I believe we can do it again.”

"Yes, it will take a little bit of time. But in English conditions, I'd back us to beat anyone in the world."

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