| Ian Bell at Edgbaston on Tuesday. (AP) |
Ian Bell has laughed off attempts by Shane Warne to undermine his confidence ahead of Thursdays third Test at Edgbaston.
Former Australia leg-spinner Warne, who is now working as a media pundit, has described Bells recall for his first Test appearance in almost six months as replacement for the injured Kevin Pietersen as return of the Shermanator.
Warne gave Bell his unflattering nickname three years ago claiming that he was a lookalike for the geeky Chuck Sharman in the film American Pie.
But Bell, 27, has heard Warnes jibes before and insists that they will not distract him from re-establishing himself as a Test player and trying to ensure that he is part of another Ashes-winning side.
Warney keeps doing that sort of stuff, but thats him, it doesnt come as a surprise. Bell said. I dont take that on to the field with me. It doesnt bother me at all. I cant control what other people say and think. For me its a matter of me going out and playing my own cricket and making sure that I contribute to our team winning the Ashes.
Thats what I want to do, I want to be part of winning the Ashes again with England. I have got the opportunity to play in a team thats playing good cricket at the minute and to play for your country is the biggest honour you can have. To be left out for the last few months has hurt and hopefully I can contribute to a win.
Though Bell has been part of Englands last three Test squads he has been released from the squad early and has appreciated how much he has missed international cricket making the long and lonely drives to Warwickshire matches from Chester-le-Street, Cardiff and Lords.
Driving around the country, having been left out of squads, and going back to county cricket makes you think about what areas you need to improve on to get back, he said.
Sometimes when you have been released from a Test squad to play for your county the next day or that day, its easy for your thoughts to still be on the Test match.
But you need to switch that right off and get back to where you are. I think I have done that successfully this summer.
So hopefully those kind of feelings and the lessons I have learnt I can take into the Test match. You think about what you are going to do when you get your next opportunity. Ive played some good cricket for England and I dont feel that Ive been a million miles away from cementing my place at times.
If Bell is finally to cement his Test place he needs to convert more of his promising starts into centuries. Since his Test-best 199 against South Africa at Lords more than a year ago, Bell has made just one other fifty for England in 12 innings.