Bell sings Bresnan's praises
Ian Bell has nominated Tim Bresnan above centurions Andrew Strauss and Sachin Tendulkar as the outstanding performer in England's epic World Cup tie against India in Bangalore.
Bell, who shared a stand of 170 with his captain after India master Tendulkar had become the first man to make five World Cup hundreds, believes Bresnan's 5-48 on a near perfect batting pitch deserved the most praise.
Bresnan, 26 yesterday, managed to bowl a maiden to Tendulkar in full flight at one stage - and returned at the death to take three wickets in four balls as India faltered just slightly on their way to 338 all out.
England's bowlers will be back at the same venue, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, to face Ireland in their third Group B match tomorrow - and Bresnan has already shown everyone how to tame the batsmen in such unfavourable conditions.
"The wickets have been very hard to bowl on," said Bell. "It is difficult to have a go at any bowler who goes the distance on those kinds of wickets.
"To have a guy who gets 5-48 in 10 overs for me is the outstanding performance - not someone who scores at six an over or more.
"His was the performance of the day on that kind of surface. It was an incredible effort."
Bell is wary of the threat posed by unheralded Ireland, but is confident England have the potential to perform even better.
"We haven't played our best cricket yet - and we have just tied with India, chasing 338,” he added. “That has got to be a good sign."
Bresnan had to carry the England attack, in the absence of the ill Stuart Broad and with James Anderson conceding more than 90 runs in under 10 overs.
"We were without Broadie, who has probably been our leading one-day bowler for a period of time now," Bell continued. "It is a good sign for us that we still did so well."
He also congratulated India seamer Zaheer Khan, who came back with the old ball to have Bell himself caught at cover, and then pin Strauss lbw for 158 with a wonderful Yorker next ball.
"I think Zaheer Khan has to take a lot of the credit,” he revealed. "If there is a guy on 150 not out and he can't get a bat on that, it's a fantastic delivery."
Among tomorrow's opponents is Bell's Warwickshire team-mate Boyd Rankin, who conceded almost seven an over in Ireland's relatively low-scoring defeat against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
But Bell knows that Rankin is capable of much better.
"I think Boyd has got a lot of ability and he is someone could go quite a long way in this game," he said.
"I have seen him bowl some fantastic spells at good pace and with really good bounce.
"Playing at Dhaka is probably not the easiest place to play for a 6ft 6inch-plus guy. If you are slightly off line to someone as good as Tamim Iqbal, you get punished."
He senses Bangalore will suit Rankin better.
"This wicket will probably have a bit more pace and bounce than Dhaka," he added. "I respect him. We are going to have to play him well with the new ball."