Cook: Bell, Bresnan fit, Monty an option

England

England captain Alastair Cook has put the worried minds at ease regarding batsman Ian Bell's fitness, after the star striker was hit on the shoulder in training on Tuesday and required treatment.

England captain Alastair Cook has put the worried minds at ease regarding batsman Ian Bell's fitness, after the star striker was hit on the shoulder in training on Tuesday and required treatment.

But Cook said it wasn't a big deal, and that the number five batsman would be fit and ready for the start of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide on Thursday. He also confirmed that fast bowler Tim Bresnan was available.

Cook said of Bell's minor knock: "He's fine. It's just one of those places on the shoulder – it just goes dead for a few hours. He's back training today."

More seriously, Bresnan would be fit if asked to play in Adelaide, after being drafted into the squad from the Performance side earlier in the week, following his recovery from a lower back stress fracture.

Cook added of the Yorkshire all-rounder : "He's fully fit. He's come back amazingly well from his injury in his back, his stress fracture.

"He played that last game for the EPP [a week ago], and came through that totally unscathed. He's ready and available for selection.

"One of his great skills is he does bowl a lot of overs in Test matches. He's done that in the past. If we decide to go Bresy, he's ready to play."

As for the spin bowling options, Cook wouldn't rule out the idea that Monty Panesar could play as a second slow bowler alongside Graeme Swann, given the slower wicket.

He said: "It is a realistic option. That's one of the skills you try and have as a captain and coach, senior players, to try to judge the state of the wicket.

"One of crucial things about home advantage is you know the wicket better than the opposition, so we have to use all experience to pick the right side."

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