Bell: We've been a bit limp

England

Batsman Ian Bell has implored the England order to rectify numerous problems incurred earlier this year, ahead of this week's first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's in London.

Batsman Ian Bell has implored the England order to rectify numerous problems incurred earlier this year, ahead of this week's first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's in London.

The English suffered a five-nil series whitewash at the hands of Australia to start 2014 in dismal fashion. Head coach Andy Flower has since been replaced, former captain Kevin Pietersen dropped – and selector Ashley Giles removed.

The talented Bell has remained a constant amid a slew of changes, particularly against the Australians in the United Kingdom in 2013, which brought three fine centuries in seven innings.

"We need to get back to the scores that give our bowlers the best chance of taking 20 wickets. We've been a bit limp in the batting department for a while so it is about time we got back to basics with putting scores on the board," said Bell.

"You're looking for the senior players to lead the way, so of course myself and Alastair Cook have to shoulder plenty of responsibility in that department. We are the men who have been there and done it and scored the big runs, so it is time for us to do so again. It feels good delivering out in the middle when you know that people are expecting you to score runs."

The 32-year-old Bell will likely welcome a 100th Test match cap in the series decider at Headingley in Leeds next week. He will become the 60th cricketer – and 12th Englishman – to achieve the milestone.

"Now is a good time for us to take the team forward. It feels like an exciting challenge, being a leader in the group. It is a different situation for us all. Over the past five or six years the team has been so settled with guys playing a lot of cricket with each other and suddenly this is a new place with new goals," he added.

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