England batsmen Ian Bell has quashed any ideas about complacency setting in ahead of the first Ashes test against Australia.

The Warwickshire player told the Shropshire Star that he is still expecting a tough series, despite his team being strong favourites to win the famous urn for the third time in succession.

“I don’t read too much into any of that,” the 29-year-old said.

“It’s two good teams who are desperate to beat each other and that’s the beauty of Ashes cricket.

“The form and whatever has happened before goes out of the window. We’re in different conditions now. It’s the Ashes.”

The tourists have had anything but ideal preparation before the series; with head coach Micky Arthur being sacked due to a disappointing run of form and indiscipline.

That came after batsmen David Warner was fined and suspended following an incident at a bar in Birmingham, in which he threw a punch at England’s Joe Root.

Trent Bridge in Nottingham will host the opening match of this series, starting on Wednesday, which Bell is likely to be selected for, making this the fifth Ashes series he has participated in.

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