England can get back on top, says Ian Bell

Senior pro praises new head coach Moores and urges players to take more responsibility

For England, even after playing at the most northerly international ground in the world, the only way is up. The routine victory against Scotland in Aberdeen was merely an adroit exercise in the avoidance of banana skins.

Welcome it might have been, but nobody will recall it as anything other than the surmounting of the first obstacle on the long road to redemption and recovery. Had England somehow contrived to lose on Friday – and after the kind of winter they had managed, anything was possible – it would have only made the task more fraught.

The real business of the summer is now almost upon us. Sri Lanka arrived in the country as England were dealing with Scotland in unfeasibly wet conditions at Mannofield. Their first match is on Tuesday in Chelmsford, their first international, a wildly pointless one-off Twenty20, at The Oval a week later.

That T20 match aside, against a team who are the world champions let it not be forgotten, England should start as heavy favourites in their own conditions against Sri Lanka in May and June. Five one-day internationals, reasonably significant precursors to the World Cup next year, will precede two Test matches. India, later on, should provide a slightly more exacting task, but with similar observations about their ability away from the sub-continent. What is needed, nay yearned for, from England is a change in attitude as well as results.

The feeling from within the camp is that one may lead to another. The players seem prepared to take more responsibility for their own actions, something that recently had perhaps been allowed to drift out in the middle when it mattered. All eyes, then, will be on the returning new head coach, Peter Moores.

Always approachable, invariably enthusiastic, steeped in the game, Moores became bogged down in the technical paraphernalia of coaching in his first coming as England coach, which ended in tears early in 2009. It was as if occasionally he could not allow himself or his players to trust their instincts.

Things, Ian Bell seems sure, will be different this time. Bell was a junior international when Moores was first trying to earn his credentials at the highest level, but these days he is a gnarled old pro with a wonderful body of work behind him who retains his hunger and his passion.

“I’m sure he’s learnt a lot in the five years he’s been with Lancashire,” Bell said. “He’s a very good coach with lots of qualities and I’m sure he’s learnt from mistakes he’s made, I know he’s said that. It’s good that he’s got another opportunity.

“Now I think he’s got that experience of probably understanding international cricket a bit more. He’s a good man. Maybe he will go away a bit from looking at stats all the time and give a bit more responsibility to us. It’s important for us to make decisions. Looking back, you can’t blame the coaches for what happened in the winter. We should have taken responsibility and we didn’t do that and hopefully he will now give us the chance to make amends.”

As that demonstrated, England’s players are saying all the right things, but doing them is quite another. One win against Scotland in a 50- over match reduced to 20 does not amount to much, but it was clear from what Bell said that the training camp last week involved much more input from the players. Bell has no official position, but is in effect senior lieutenant to the captaincy of Alastair Cook. “The Ashes are not that far away so it would be nice to turn it round quickly, but having been involved in ’06-’07 I think it is possible to turn things round and I believe we can do it again,” he said.

“I’ve been involved in county cricket for the last month and there are some really good cricketers out there. It will be exciting for all cricket fans to watch this new team come together. Yes, it will take a little bit of time, but in English conditions I’d back us to beat anyone in the world.” Starting with Sri Lanka next week.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album