Bell puts hand up to bat at three

England

England batsman Ian Bell is more than willing to move up the order and bat at three if required in Adelaide, saying it depended on how the side would balance out as a result.

England batsman Ian Bell is more than willing to move up the order and bat at three if required in Adelaide, saying it depended on how the side would balance out as a result.

Bell, who played as skipper in the tour match in Alice Springs, which was a draw, was asked about replacing Jonathan Trott at three, given the batsman's departure to England due to a stress-related illness.

Bell, normally batting at five, told reporters after the tour match at Traeger Park concluded: "We've spoken about it, and obviously I've said I'm absolutely willing to go to number three.

"That decision is probably out of my control. We've got a number of options with the batting and the balance of the side – but absolutely I'll put my hand up. We'll soon see."

Aside from Bell, and Joe Root, another option for number three is uncapped batsman Gary Ballance, who made 55 and eight not out in Alice Springs to put his name into the hat in a meaningful way.

Bell added of the Yorkshireman's chances: "Gary Ballance has done really well, batting for a long period on a wicket that was not easy to score runs fluently.

"We want guys who are going to bat long periods of time in this series, so he showed some good character."

Another person in line to get a place in Adelaide is spinner Monty Panesar, who took three wickets on day two in partnership with Graeme Swann's four. Bell was pleased with the Essex man's effort, in light of a tough year.

He said: "It's not easy coming on tour when you've not played a lot of cricket. I'm sure he'll be a bit sore, but he bowled really well.

"It was nice to see him settle into a rhythm very quickly and it is a possibility he could play (in Adelaide) – we've got that flexibility if we need two spinners."

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