England batsman Ian Bell is looking forward to another close contest in the second Ashes Test at Lord's, and doesn't think the Australians will be at all disheartened by their narrow loss at Trent Bridge.

Bell, who scored the first Test's only century, said the Aussies would probably be even more pumped up, given they were playing at the Home of Cricket. He added that the players themselves had never thought the Ashes would be a runaway win.

Bell told sportsvibe.co.uk: "People have suggested that Australia may be deflated after getting so close to winning the first test but I don't see it that way at all.

"They will be 100% up for the second test because, first, that's the nature of any Australian team, second they will know they could have easily won at Nottingham and, third, they are playing at Lords, a venue where every team in the world gets up for.

"It wouldn't surprise me if the second test is as tight as the first, and if the rest of the series is also very tight. None of the England team bought into the theory that we were strong favourites or this Australian team were not as strong as previous teams.

"I think they proved how competitive they are in Nottingham, and we expect a similar tough battle at Lords."

The batsman went on to say that Wonder Boy Ashton Agar would not catch them by surprise again, with either bat or ball, and even if he does do well they now know more about him. Bell also said he'd like an 'epic' contest, as long as England won.

Bell added: "I think the batting unit as a whole will be hoping for more runs and I'd like to think we won't get struck again by Ashton Agar, who we knew very little about, scoring a 98 from number 11 in the order. We are one up and know we can play a lot better than we did in Nottingham.

"Australia will be better, too, so it all sets up a fantastic test match. I'd be more than happy if this series proves to be another epic, just as long as we win. It's brilliant for cricket in this country and for the sport as a whole."