Ian Bell is full of confidence as England head into the pivotal third Test at Old Trafford this week.

The form of Andy Flower's side over the last few weeks has propelled them into a 2-0 Ashes series lead - the first time they have managed that feat since the 1986/7 tour of Australia.

Bell has been an integral part of that success, scoring centuries at both Trent Bridge and Lord's. And the batsman believes that Manchester is a great city for the team to be heading to now, as they look to retain the urn.

Speaking to GiveMeSport, the Warwickshire man explained: "Old Trafford's a good place to go, England have got a particularly good record there and there are exciting times ahead."

Having considered the potential pitch on offer, Bell came to the conclusion that there will be something for both batsmen and bowlers at various stages throughout the five days.

"Some of the wickets we have played there in the past in Test cricket have been particularly quick and bouncy, so I expect obviously with the hot weather that we've had that it could be quite dry," according to the short leg fielder.

England have already announced their 14-man squad for this week's game, with Chris Tremlett and Monty Panesar being drafted in. The addition of the latter gives Alistair Cook the opportunity to play two spinners.

And Bell also added: "I always expect a hard wicket there that might have a bit of pace and bounce and then a bit of spin at the end of the game."

This could mean that team selection, and winning the toss are two crucial factors that may determine whether or not Australia can continue to hang on in there this summer.

In 2005, the Aussies clung on to draw the match thanks to Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath's unbeaten stand on the final evening, but Bell is seemingly confident that the tourists won't be so fortunate this time around.

 

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Topics:
Australia cricket
England cricket
Cricket
Ian Bell
The Ashes