Giles backing Bell
Warwickshire director of cricket and international selector Ashley Giles believes Ian Bell is capable of regaining his England spot.
Bell found himself out of England's Test and one-day sides by the conclusion of the winter tour of the West Indies, with Owais Shah given his chance at number three in the five-day game.
But Giles has sensed a determination in his conversations with Bell not to throw in the towel and battle for his place ahead of the return series with the Windies and the Ashes.
Giles said: “It is great from Warwickshire's viewpoint to have Ian at the start of the season. He is a top pro. He will only help to strengthen our batting.
“But he is capable of getting his England place back. He is a quality cricketer. I don't see any reason at all why that should not happen.
“It might actually do him good being out of the side for a while, to give him a chance to take a look at what needs tinkering with or improving, but I think he will come back strong.
“It hurts everyone when they are left out - but everyone gets left out at some point and it's how you come back from it.
“The early signs are really positive. He has gone away and worked hard, trained hard. The conversations I've had with him indicate he is really up for this challenge.
“He is by no means rolling over and wants to get back in the England team, especially in this Ashes year.”
Giles is optimistic the county can make an impact in Division One of the LV= County Championship in 2009.
Giles marked his first season in charge at Edgbaston by leading the side to the Division Two title, narrowly pipping local rivals Worcestershire.
The former England spinner said: “We are confident. We have prepared pretty well. Division One is more competitive than Division Two, but our big focus has been on improving our cricket and not necessarily judging ourselves against other counties.
“By no means are we the finished article this year. It was always a longer project than 18 months to two years. But I think we have made decent headway this winter.”