Ian Bell happy with testing conditions

In-form England batsman Ian Bell believes his side’s pressured preparations for the upcoming Ashes series in Australia are just what the tourists need.

Having played out a three-day draw against a Western Australia Chairman’s XI in bouncy conditions in Perth, England face bowler-friendly conditions in Hobart, where they face Australia A in a four-day fixture.

You don’t want to go to Brisbane having no pressure cricket.

Ian Bell

And Bell, who scored a fine century in Perth last week, thinks that tough conditions in warm-up games will help England be ready for the first Test, which starts in Brisbane on 21st November.

He told reporters: “To have the first week at the WACA I think is the best place to practice in terms of extreme bounce.

“Then to come here potentially with more bowler-friendly conditions is a good place, it puts us under a bit of pressure which is where we want to be as a team.

“You don’t want to go to Brisbane having no pressure cricket, so for us it’s an exciting opportunity if we lose the toss and we’re in batting and we have to fight to get as many runs as we can.

“You don’t want to just play on flat wickets all the time, you need to put yourself under a bit of pressure.”

Bell enjoyed a stellar series against the Baggy Greens in England last summer, scoring 562 runs at an average of 62.44, including centuries at Trent Bridge, Lord’s and Durham.

The classy right-hander is 9/2 to be England’s top team batsman in the Ashes series Down Under, with Jonathan Trott 10/3, while Kevin Pietersen can be backed at 10/3.

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