England batsman Ian Bell yesterday expressed his delight at scoring his 21st Test hundred in the third match versus India here and said that he has been “playing well”.
His 167 runs helped the hosts declare at 569 for seven in their first innings and put pressure on the visitors who scored 25/1 at stumps to trail by 544 runs.
“I have felt like I have been playing well and then found some strange ways to get out,” said Bell.
“So it was nice to go through the whole process and get a big hundred. It is frustrating without a big score because the job of the top six batsmen is to score runs. You train hard and you prepare well, but that doesn`t guarantee results.”
The English senior players, including skipper Alastair Cook who scored 95 runs on day one and Bell himself, have come in for some slack after India won the second Test at Lord`s by 95 runs.
“All the senior guys in the dressing room try hard. It is frustrating for all of us, not just as individuals but as a team. Like I said, you can prepare well but the end results are not guaranteed.
“The seniors are experienced players and we have to help the younger guys as well. So we have to be contributing both in and out of the dressing room, but on the field it is needed more, and it gets frustrating when that bit doesn`t happen. So it is nice to contribute and see the score at 560-odd declared,” said Bell.
Bell put on a 106-run partnership for the sixth wicket with debutant keeper-batsman Jos Buttler who scored 85 runs, his maiden Test fifty.
“He is an outstanding batsman. He didn`t quite get a good start and that was perhaps because he was thinking too much. But then he started playing the way he does and he looked better. He is someone who can utilise such platforms and give us a move-on.