New Zealand v England: Bell wants to build momentum ahead of Ashes
New Zealand v England: Ian Bell urges the tourists to continue their momentum ahead of back-to-back Ashes series this year
Ian Bell believes that the upcoming Test series in New Zealand will be the ideal pre-cursor ahead of the back-to-back Ashes contests that will define their cricketing year.
The tourists’ Test series warm-up match begins on Tuesday evening against a New Zealand XI in Queensland ahead of the three-match series, which begins on 6 March.
“Playing in New Zealand can be tough. We have to play well to win,” Bell said.
“Looking ahead it would be nice, having won in India, to win this series and it would give us nice momentum going into a big summer for us at home.
“As a group we have got so much cricket coming up in the next two years that you need a squad of players,” said the Warwickshire batsman.”
Bell believes the added competition for places that has emerged over the winter tours of India and New Zealand, with Joe Root, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler in particular excelling, will stand England in good stead for the challenges ahead.
“Eleven players are not going to win that amount of cricket for us. We need a squad of 16 and more. It’s important we have competition all the time in all forms of the game,” said Bell.
He added: “We know that it doesn’t matter who you play against in Test cricket, five days of real hard work is in front of us to win any Test match against anyone in any part of the world. That’s why Test cricket is so rewarding when you win.”
“We are ready for that hard work. There are some world-class players in that New Zealand team and we are going to have to play some really good cricket to beat them.”