Strauss has set the template for us – Bell

Ian Bell believes Andrew Strauss’s brilliant 158 against India is a sign that England are well placed for success at this World Cup, as they get ready to return to Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium to take on Ireland. England had to settle for a tie with the hosts on Sunday, but Bell said he and his batting colleagues would look at their captain’s effort as the template for how to bat in this tournament.

“It’s probably the best knock I’ve ever seen, to be honest with you, from an England player,” Bell said. “It had everything. He hit his boundaries when he wanted to, he rotated the strike, he played his sweeps. He looked very, very hard to bowl to.

“If you can have a player like that at the top of the order, it really holds us in good stead. In the next game if it’s not Straussy that goes on and makes a hundred, it’s [hopefully] one of the other top four that does, because it really was for the rest of us a template for how you play a proper one-day innings. He’s done that for a while for us.”

However, Ireland’s young spinner George Dockrell said his team would not be intimidated by the hefty and almost successful chase when they meet England on Wednesday. Ireland are still searching for their first win of the World Cup, after missing a golden opportunity against Bangladesh, and they know they will have to score big to challenge England, who could regain Stuart Broad after he missed the India game due to illness.

“With both teams getting 338, you can see that the pitch is very good and the outfield is quick, it’s a small stadium,” Dockrell said. “There’s big scores out here in India, there are going to be games like this. I don’t think we’ll be daunted by that. We played one of the warm-up games in Nagpur, a lot bigger stadium and yet we got 290 against New Zealand, so I don’t think we’ll be too daunted by that.

“We’re obviously disappointed with the game against Bangladesh and now we’re looking forward to this England game and hopefully getting that first win. We took a lot of positives from that Bangladesh game. It was a very good bowling performance from us, the batting went wrong in a few places but we’re quite confident still coming in to this game.”

Dockrell is one of several members of the Ireland squad who have been handed county deals, after he was signed by Somerset last year, and his bowling colleague Boyd Rankin is another who is well known by the England players. Rankin has played with Bell at Warwickshire and, despite leaking 62 off his nine overs against Bangladesh, could be more of a handful in Bangalore.

“Boyd has got a lot of ability and is someone who I think could go a long way in this game,” Bell said. “For Warwickshire I’ve seen him bowl some fantastic spells. He’s got good pace and really good bounce. Playing at Dhaka isn’t the easiest place to play as a big 6’6-plus guy. If you’re slightly off line to someone as good as Tamim Iqbal you get punished.

“This wicket will probably have a little bit more pace and bounce than Dhaka did. He’s someone you respect. We’re going to have to play him well with the new ball. A lot of those guys are respected on the county circuit. There’s a lot of experience now in their side, in county cricket, and it’s a game that we’re looking forward to and we’re going to have to play well in. It’s not a game that we can turn up in and just coast.”


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