The England batsman Ian Bell admitted that he expects to lose his place in the team despite scoring a chanceless hundred in the first Test against Pakistan here at Lordâ€™s.
The Warwickshire strokemaker was 100 not out when England declared on 528 for nine on the second day Friday, but was realistic about his role, having only been called in to replace injured all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who England hope will captain them in their Ashes defence in Australia later this year.
â€œI saw myself coming in just for this Test match because when Freddie (Flintoff) is fit he plays,â€ said the 24-year-old Bell. â€œIâ€™ve filled his position and Iâ€™m very happy that Iâ€™ve shown people I can play at this level,â€ he remarked.
The compact right-hander explained he expects to be dropped for the second Test, due to start at Flintoffâ€™s Old Trafford home ground in Manchester on July 27, despite his impressive knock. â€œIt will be unusual but I donâ€™t see it as a particularly difficult decision,â€ Bell explained as he contemplated the prospect of becoming the first England batsman since Graeme Hick in 1998 to be axed one match after scoring a Test hundred.
Bell brought up his third Test century with a neatly punched drive through mid-wicket, a shot that was typical of his measured 168-ball innings which included nine fours and lasted 254 minutes.
He scored his first Test century, and his highest to date, against Bangladesh at Chester-le-Street in June 2005, ending on 162 not out, while his second hundred (115) came against Pakistan in Faisalabad late last year.
â€œI really enjoyed going out there and getting a hundred at Lordâ€™s and I would love to do it again,â€ said Bell. â€œI want to succeed at this level and play hard but I have to learn not to put too much pressure on myself to score runs and just go out there and enjoy it,â€ he added.
Bell added he felt he had enhanced his chances of getting into the England squad for the Ashes series. â€œItâ€™s quite a distance away and I didnâ€™t go into this match thinking about it,â€ he explained. â€œBut Iâ€™ve not done myself any harm by going out and getting a hundred,â€ he told.
Source:The NewsMore on:england, Ian Bell, Pakistan in England 2006, Warwickshire
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