Ian Bell exclusive: England youngsters ready for India challenge

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England batsman Ian Bell has spoken exclusively to GiveMeSport of his excitement at the prospect of facing a ‘new look’ India side.

"It’s really exciting with two new look sides," Bell said. "I think India are going to have a young side that are hungry for success. I think it will be a good challenge."

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Two new eras

England will field a young team and some relatively unknown faces, with the like of Ben Stokes, Gary Balance, Sam Robson and Moeen Ali, all with just 11 caps between them.

It is a side that failed to overcome Sri Lanka in the first of these two summer series, with the tourists able to dramatically clinch the second Test, although England will have taken heart from a number of encouraging performances by the new breed.

There could be another Test debut on the horizon with Jos Buttler, who has impressed so much in the shorter format, called into the England squad as cover for the injured Matt Prior.

India, meanwhile, are rebuilding following a number of notable departures in recent years, with the iconic Sachin Tendulkar having announced his retirement, and Virender Sehwag now overlooked for younger options.

It is certainly a significantly different India squad to the one that toured three years ago, with England winning that series 4-0, and the stage is set for yet another absorbing summer.

"There is a lot of talent on both sides," Bell added. "But it’s probably early days in a lot of the guys' careers, so it’s a real challenge.

"With our team, there’s some new faces that people are going to get to know over the next few years and India are exactly the same.

"It’s going to be an exciting competition but there’s no doubt there is some good talent in our side."

Watch: Ian Bell reflects on England career

A longer format

This is the first time England have hosted a five Test series with India since the 1950s, and it is a format in which Bell hopes to be able to thrive.

"I think five match series are always great to be involved in because there is enough time to go in and out of form," the 32-year-old explained.

"They’re much better to play in, they give a lot of challenges and there will be no hiding places for anyone."

The first Test begins at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, 

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Ian Bell
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India cricket

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