Ian Bell says England's preparations will be key in determining the outcome of the second Ashes test at Lord's this week.

The Warwickshire batsman hit a sublime 109 in the first test at Trent Bridge last week to help England claim a memorable 14-run victory, with the second test at Lord's starting tomorrow. 

Bell says England have been focusing on recovering after a draining encounter in Nottingham, and believes whichever team goes into the second test feeling the most mentally refreshed will hold the upper hand.

"Back-to-back Test matches are hard work physically and mentally," he told GiveMeSport.

"With Ashes cricket in general it's more the mental side of the game that tires you out than the physical. 

"After the back-to-back Tests the five of six days in between will be really key to recuperating and getting yourself fresh again."

England will be gunning for a commanding lead in the five-test series at the Home of Cricket as Alastair Cook's team go in search of a hat-trick of Ashes triumphs.

Although a win at Trent Bridge has put England on course to achieve just that, Bell says their focus is solely on getting a result this week.

When asked about the prospect of winning another home Ashes series, the 31-year-old said: "You can only play one game at a time and the next game is the important one. We have to focus on that and not get too carried away. 

"It's going to be a real tight series all the way through I think. We've got to do really well to win the next game.

While England focus on their preparations ahead of the second test, Australia have been rocked by revelations of unrest from former coach Mickey Arthur.

Arthur, who lost his position as Australia's head coach before the start of the Ashes, is suing his former employers for £2.4 million for wrongful dismissal and claimed that captain Michael Clarke slammed batsman Shane Watson as a 'cancer' within the team.

Despite that Bell is expecting Australia to provide a stern test, just as they did in Nottingham.

"You don't get a bad Australian cricket team," he said. "They're a fantastic team, they've got great bowlers and some world class batters, so it's going to be very tight all the way through."

Topics:
#Australia cricket
#England cricket
#Ian Bell
#The Ashes
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