Bell ready to bounce back for the Bears

Birmingham Post - - SPORT -

IAN Bell in­sists he will em­bark on the 2018 sea­son this week re­freshed, re­booted and hav­ing “given my­self the best chance to have a great sea­son.”

War­wick­shire face Sus­sex in the sea­son-opener at Edg­bas­ton this week and as the club pre­pares for its first sea­son of Divi­sion Two Spec­savers County Cham­pi­onship cricket since 2008, Bell’s chal­lenge is to bounce back from a per­sonal nightmare 2017 sea­son.

He scored just 596 cham­pi­onship runs at 25.91, looked a shadow of the player who has scored al­most 8,000 Test runs for Eng­land and re­signed the cap­taincy mid-sea­son.

But after a first win­ter with­out com­pet­i­tive cricket in al­most 20 years, he feels re­ju­ve­nated and ready to be a big con­trib­u­tor under new cap­tain Jee­tan Pa­tel in 2018.

“Last sea­son was tough,” said Bell (pic­tured). “Per­son­ally, I have always set such high stan­dards and not to hit those stan­dards was dis­ap­point­ing.

“When you come out of an Eng­land side that you have been part of for 12 years it’s a very dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tion to go through that cy­cle back into county cricket.

“There were many rea­sons for what hap­pened last sea­son, but now I feel in a good place in terms of con­trol­ling what I can control.

“I’m go­ing into the sea­son know­ing I have done ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing I can.

“You always know that, as a bats­man, you are go­ing to have some poor games and get some low scores but I have given my­self the best chance to have a great sea­son.

“I’m just look­ing for­ward to the sea­son, help­ing to sup­port Jeets any way I can and lead­ing from the front, whether that’s by scor­ing runs or with my be­hav­iour and prepa­ra­tion and how we talk about the game and how we play the game. Ba­si­cally what I have done through­out my whole ca­reer.”

First up for War­wick­shire, to­mor­row, is the cham­pi­onship opener against Sus­sex at Edg­bas­ton.

“Sus­sex are a good side and there are plenty of good sides in Divi­sion Two,” he said.

“We have to show a lot of re­spect to op­pos­ing teams but also play with the con­fi­dence that we are a strong side.

“We have a stronger squad this year and ev­ery­one is fully fit which is dif­fer­ent to the last cou­ple of years.

“That re­spect we show is go­ing to be very im­por­tant.

“We can’t just be­lieve we will au­to­mat­i­cally get pro­moted.

“You see teams in foot­ball make that mis­take and they come a crop­per.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.