Bell: England can adapt
Ian Bell believes England have the right formula in their batting order not just to close out one-day international victories in home conditions, but also to up the ante on alien surfaces.
Bell struck 88 at Lord’s as Alastair Cook’s side moved 2-1 ahead in the NatWest Series versus South Africa with a second victory in three days.
As was the case at the Kia Oval, England were able to progress with relative caution to their target, having restricted the Proteas to a below-par total.
Yet with a trip to India on the horizon, Bell is confident an alternative approach can be successfully adopted, and points to his own aggressive contribution in Cardiff last month, which saw him thump 26 off 18 balls before rain intervened.
"We have to be flexible," he said.
"This (the Lord’s ODI) was a case of setting a platform, but there might be times when we have to go a little harder.
"I'm up for that - I think I showed at Cardiff that, if the time comes, I will go harder."
Bell's form has been a revelation since he replaced Kevin Pietersen at the top of the order this summer, and English pitches present a test to which he is ideally suited.
"With two new balls in England, you have to be prepared to get through the first few overs,” he explained. “It stops swinging quite quickly.
"When we go to the sub-continent or when we are chasing big scores, we are going to have to do that ... and we have the power at the end to get us over the line."
Bell echoes Cook's reaction to England's table-topping ODI status - reasoning that defining ventures lie ahead.
Asked if the number one tag feels entirely appropriate at this stage, he said: "Far from it.
"I've really enjoyed being part of it this summer, but we have some big challenges coming up.
"To go to India again in Tests and one-dayers will be a massive challenge, and it will be exciting to be a part of that.
"As a group, we are working as hard as we can. There are so many areas where we can get better.”