Trustworthy Bell merits recall - Miller
Ian Bell remaining true to his word earned the Warwickshire batsman a recall to England’s one-day squad, according to ECB national selector Geoff Miller.
Bell's last one-day international was in November 2008 against India, a series in which he opened the batting with limited success.
He promised to become a more attacking option in limited-overs cricket after being dropped, something he has delivered on for his county this season and last.
Should he feature in the ODI against Scotland on June 19 or the NatWest Series versus Australia which follows, it is unlikely to be at the top of the order.
However, Miller hopes the 28-year-old can exhibit his “new kind of zest for playing attacking cricket” in the international arena.
“We asked Ian to go away and develop his aggressive one-day skills and he promised to do that and he has done it,” Miller told ECBtv.
“He’s gone away and played for Warwickshire in both forms of one-day cricket and shown a new kind of zest for playing attacking cricket, so he merits his selection.”
Like Bell, Sussex captain Michael Yardy has been recalled to England’s 50-over set-up following a period in the ODI wilderness.
Yardy last played in that format during the summer of 2007, but his performances in last month’s ICC World Twenty20 have earned him the opportunity to add to his six ODI caps.
Miller revealed the left-arm spinner is seen as a player who could excel in next year’s World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
“Mike Yardy did very well, as we know, in the (Twenty20) World Cup and we’ve got to keep one eye on the World Cup - 50 overs - as well, which is February-time in the sub-continent,” Miller added.
"As well as trying to win these series, which we obviously want to do, we’ve got to keep an eye on that, and Mike has shown what his worth is.”
One player who recently proved his threat on sub-continental wickets is Craig Kieswetter, who has displaced Matt Prior as first-choice wicketkeeper in the limited-overs game.
Kieswetter played as a specialist opening batsman in England’s last one-day series, against Bangladesh, with Prior behind the stumps.
But Kieswetter’s century at Chittagong and his top-order displays in the World Twenty20 were enough to dislodge Prior.
“What they’ve been looking for is this kind of firepower up front and Craig showed that in the last series. He did it in the World Twenty20,” Miller said.
“This is a different form of the game, but he did it in Bangladesh in the last one-day international; he got a hundred there. It augers well for us. We’re working on that area, a wicketkeeper who can bat up the order.”
Miller admits Kieswetter is yet to take his keeping to the highest level, but believes the input of Bruce French - the ECB’s specialist wicketkeeping coach - can only help the Somerset man.
“He’s developing his glovework; he’s working very hard with Bruce French to improve that,” Miller revealed.
“We all want to improve as cricketers and he’s no exception to that and he works very hard not only on his keeping, (but) on his batting as well.
“Yes, we look for that to improve, but everybody’s looking to improve their game at any stage.”