Bats in England must support Root: Bell


Ian Bell has warned the English First Order that Joe Root cannot do it alone if he is to hope to recover the ashes.

Root has given himself the best training for an Ashes in his career, as he finally tries to conquer Australia in their territory.

The 30-year-old is 66.13 in the cricket test in 2021, with six centuries in the best calendar year of his career.

But he remains winless in tests in Australia, failing to score a century in 17 innings in the country.

While Bell predicts that these may be the best Ashes outside of Root, he knows the captain won’t be able to carry the team’s first order on his own.

Bell starred in England’s only Ashes Series victory in Australia in the past 30 years, as one of five tourists to average over 50 in the 2010-11 success.

He’s adamant the current squad will need a similar number of races from across the top order to be real contenders.

“It’s all about the volume of races,” said Bell, who is assistant coach for the Hobart Hurricanes BBL team this summer.

“I’m looking at the Australian attack, they’re full blast, in great shape and all shooting, so it’s a real challenge. England are going to have to score some big points.

“The top three (are key) I’m sure Australia have meetings to target them with the new Kookaburra ball to get Rooty in early (at # 4).

“I’m expecting a really good run from him, it’s just that the rest of the batting lineup can help him along the way.

“These first rounds are going to be important.”

Bell is certain the English Rapids can withstand the task, having already fought to have an impact on the flatter Australian wickets.

In particular, he believes that Ollie Robinson can be a find for England, with his 196cm frame offering a real bounce.

But again, he thinks the first three are essential.

Forerunners Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed have never played tryout cricket in Australia before, and neither has England’s other option at Zak Crawley.

Number 3 Dawid Malan scored a century on the Ashes’ last tour, but also failed to pass 20 in five of his 10 innings.

Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are expected to offer support in the middle order, but a big part will still fall on Root.

“The last 12 months have been amazing. As a spin player he is the best English player I have ever seen,” said Bell.

“These will undoubtedly be his biggest challenges, but there is no doubt that as a drummer he is ready for it.

“For all of us, as English players, this is the only place you want to come and win.

“Individually, too, you want to have that on your list of achievements for doing well under these conditions.”


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