Exclusive: Bell admits England need to improve

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Ian Bell has warned his teammates that they cannot turn up to Australia undercooked after a number of senior players were rested for the limited overs internationals at the end of the summer.

The 2013 Ashes Man of the Series was one of those players who were given time off in the middle of a hectic 12-months that includes two Ashes series, ICC Champions Trophy, T20 World Cup in Bangladesh and a tour of the West Indies amongst a number of ODI’s and T20’s.

Alastair Cook, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson joined Bell in sitting out the six One Day International’s against Ireland and then Australia which led to some criticism in the media. However, there is likely to be little complaints if England replicate their 3-0 Ashes win in the southern hemisphere this winter.

With the 17-man squad announced earlier this week the realism of how tight their international calendar became apparent with the team departing on October 23rd.

The uncapped trio of Ben Stokes, Boyd Rankin and Gary Balance will be on the plane along with Michael Carberry, Chris Tremlett, Monty Panesar and the 10 players that featured in the summer’s Ashes. Tim Bresnan will also travel but not as an official member of the squad due to the stress fracture of his back.

Bell has taken some time away from the game by appearing on the BT Sports Panel and watching his football team Aston Villa but he also spent a week in Tenerife with his wife, Chantal and son Joseph as he exclusively told GiveMeSport.

“It was a nice break. I was actually carrying a bit of a virus towards the end of the Ashes series so it was good to go away for a week and relax and I came back from that feeling so much better, energised, fit and raring to go," admitted Bell.

“Now I will make the most of the next four weeks and have some hits and also in the gym.”

There is clearly no complaicancy with the Warwickshire middle-order batsman and he is already doing fitness training a number of times a week, including while the Ashes squad was actually announced and he wants to be prepared for the upcomming series.

“I’m trying to get in the gym as much as possible because we know the importance of it. It is a massive challenge in australia and a long tour physically and mentally so you have to get yourself in as good shape as possible.

“We all know we’re going to have to play better than we did this series so the hard work starts now. You can’t turn up in Australia and expect to start there, the next few weeks are important and you have to get organised, planned and think about it so you can hit the ground running when you get out there.”

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Ian Bell
The Ashes
England cricket

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