England v India: Ian Bell wants to build on Southampton success

England v India: Ian Bell urges the hosts to build on their Southampton success ahead of the fourth Test at Old Trafford

By Sam Rogers

Ian Bell is confident England can build on the momentum gained from their emphatic 266-run victory over India at the Ageas Bowl when the sides face off at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Bell, who struck a magnificent 167 in the first innings on the south coast, saw his side end a run of 10 matches without a win to level the series 1-1 with two Tests to play.

Whatever we do on Thursday we have to do it well, but we need five good days to back up a good performance at Southampton. We’re all excited about that challenge

Ian Bell

The 32-year-old believes his side have put the bad run behind them and knows a repeat performance in Manchester would see England take a lead in the five match series.

“It’s been a difficult 12 months, everybody knows that. There’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes, so it was good to put a whole Test match together exactly how we’d want it,” Bell told the ECB’s website.

“It’d be nice to start again here at Old Trafford in exactly the same way. We’ll work hard, we’ll talk about the game in the meeting, hopefully have two good days of preparation and hit the ground running on day one.

“You’ve got to do all that hard work again, we know what’s ahead of us; we know India are a quality side. Whatever we do on Thursday we have to do it well, but we need five good days to back up a good performance at Southampton. We’re all excited about that challenge.”

While it would be fickle to get ahead of themselves after one victory in 11 Test matches, Bell insists the mood in the dressing room is a positive one and knew it was only a matter of time before they saw a change in their fortunes.

“Behind the scenes we still have the confidence even though the results haven’t been going our way,” Bell added.

“We knew that all we needed to do was put a whole game together.

“Through the other Test matches this summer we’ve had parts that have been good and parts that haven’t been so good.

“The confidence we can gain from Southampton – the fact that we put five days of really good cricket together. That’s exactly what we need to do here in Manchester.”

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