Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bell: It's Time for Batsmen to Turn Tables on Spinners; Cricket Brought to You in Association With

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bell: It's Time for Batsmen to Turn Tables on Spinners; Cricket Brought to You in Association With

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Cricket Correspondent in Dubai

Cricket brought to you in association with [bar] AN BELL, one of England's batting flops against Pakistan, today admitted the whole team need to improve their mindset against spin bowling if they are to succeed in subcontinent conditions.

England arrived in the United Arab Emirates as the world's top-ranked Test side but they must win the final Test here in Dubai to ensure they retain that status after losing the first two matches.

runs from against amassing his Most of England's batsmen enjoyed outstanding years in 2011 but they have been humbled by Pakistan. The middle order of Kevin Pietersen, Bell and Eoin Morgan has contributed only 94 runs in 12 innings as they have failed to master the slow bowling of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman. And there will be no let-up as later this year England face tours to Sri Lanka and India, where conditions will be similar.

With the Test series gone, England's only option is to try to restore some pride in the Third Test, which begins on Friday.

"We're looking at areas we can get better, both technically and mentally," Bell said. "We are always searching to get better and we have played some really good cricket around the world, but the last piece of the jigsaw is playing in subcontinental conditions.

"We have never played great cricket on the subcontinent. We have started to play well elsewhere, and now this is the last hurdle we need to get over. We have had a chat about it and it's about doing it here and now.

"If we want to stay at No1 in the world, we have to start to score more runs in these conditions. The bowlers have been fantastic and now it's up to the batting unit to give them support.

"It's important we don't lose our confidence and that we continue to play in an aggressive, attacking manner in this form of the game."

Bell had the best year of his Test career in 2011 but he has looked in trouble against Rehman and, in particular, Ajmal, who has accounted for the Warwickshire batsman three times in four innings. …

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