Bell challenged by evolving conditions

England

Batsman Ian Bell has welcomed the varied nature of England's build-up to the Ashes series, which will get underway in Brisbane on 21 November.

Batsman Ian Bell has welcomed the varied nature of England's build-up to the Ashes series, which will get underway in Brisbane on 21 November.

Bell scored a century in the drawn three-day fixture against the Western Australian Chairman's XI in Perth last week, and this week will face Australia A in Hobart. A four-day affair against a strong New South Wales unit will follow next week.

"Obviously we'll see how it plays and obviously last time we were here we got a good four days out of it and I was lucky enough to spend some time in the middle as well, so I know there are some runs to be had out there and that's a good challenge," said Bell.

"You don't want to just play on flat wickets all the time, you need to put yourself under a bit of pressure and hopefully we'll be able to do that over this four days which will get us in a good place for Brisbane."

The lanky Boyd Rankin, Chris Tremlett and Steven Finn are, effectively, vying for the final first-choice Test seamer's berth alongside the experienced Stuart Broad and James Anderson. The talented Graeme Swann, meanwhile, is bound to secure the sole spinner's spot.

"It's just making the most of what we're doing really. To have the first week at the WACA I think is the best place to practise in terms of extreme bounce and then to come here potentially with more bowler-friendly conditions is a good place," added Bell.

"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."

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