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Ian Bell suggests England make two changes for fourth Ashes Test

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Former England batsman Ian Bell has declared that changes are needed to be made to the current side after they suffered another humiliating defeat in the third Ashes Test.

As part of his column for Paddy Power, Bell stressed the need for the side to start rebuilding the team now in order to challenge the Aussies on their home soil in 2019.

The hosts sailed into a 3-0 series lead on Monday by sealing an innings and 41-run victory in Perth to regain the Ashes.

But with two Tests still to play Down Under, Bell thinks it is only right to introduce some fresh blood with the threat of a whitewash now very serious.

Although England's poor form with the bat has been particularly detrimental to cause, the former international thinks it is the bowling department which needs a shake-up.

"Their team isn’t going to change too much. For England, if we’re serious about winning the Ashes back, we need to start building the side now," Bell wrote.

"I think they’ll probably bring Mason Crane in, for some spin, in the next Test. Maybe Mark Wood will add some extra pace if Overton is injured.

"Now is the time for changes, and we’ll look for some positives that way."

England Nets Session

After a lopsided loss, Bell stressed the need to start rebuilding mid-series as he remains fearful of a youthful Australian side which can still improve.

He added: "One of the worrying things for me is that the Australian bowling attack is young. If they stay injury-free when they come to England in 2019, they’re going to be better and put on a real challenge.

Such was Australia's dominance over England, Bell insists everyone must ask questions of themselves, including England stalwart Alastair Cook.

Australia v England - Second Test: Day 4

Bell said of Cook: "It comes down to whether he still has the hunger to continue. Towards the end of your career, your job simply is to score runs, a lot of run[s]. If you don’t do that, like Cookie hasn’t, you’re going to come under pressure.

"You get to a point with England, it’s very strange, after a certain amount of time playing that it hurts. The travelling, the preparation, the family sacrifices needed to be an elite player," Bell shared drawing from his experience.

"If you’re not desperate to do all that, you can’t hide in international cricket. The intensity now is so high, with all the tours and travelling you have to do, that it’ll get you at some point – everyone gets to a point where they lose that hunger."

Australia v England - Third Test: Day 5

With the series switching over to Australia's most famous cricket ground, the MCG in Melbourne, Bell warned that the England team shouldn't expect it to get any easier.

"The whole team will be hurting right now. The hardest thing for them is that they’ve got to go to the MCG and face 90,000 Australians who are ready to party."

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Topics:
Australia cricket
The Ashes
Cricket
England cricket
Ian Bell

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