Ian Bell awaits Twenty20 decision as the Peter Moore's era clicks in to gear
Bell is one of a number of players who is yet to find out whether he is part of England's shorter-format plans or not
Tuesday 13 May 2014
Ian Bell is among those about to discover whether he is under starter's orders in England's Twenty20 plans as Peter Moores' new era takes shape.
England will announce two squads later on Tuesday, to take on Sri Lanka in a one-off Twenty20 match at the Oval and then for five one-day internationals against the same tourists.
The second list is sure to be very similar to the one announced last week against Scotland in Aberdeen - where England beat their hosts, and the bad weather.
The first is marginally less predictable following England's early exit from the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh two months ago under then limited-overs coach Ashley Giles.
Moores, who has succeeded both Giles and former team director Andy Flower as coach in all formats, has no further evidence to go on - because the domestic limited-overs programme does not begin until the end of this week, with the first round of NatWest T20 Blast matches.
A left-field newcomer is therefore perhaps unlikely yet - especially given that Moores has already resisted any temptation for major change in his first ODI squad - unless he or one of his fellow selectors is prepared to back a hunch from last summer's county Twenty20 programme.
Bell himself declined to talk up his own Twenty20 international credentials, having made an important half-century in a match reduced by rain to just that format against Scotland last Friday - pointing out he has not played the sprint game for several years.
He was, however, called up by his former Warwickshire coach and one-time Ashes-winning team-mate Giles as the replacement for an injured Joe Root at the World Twenty20.
Bell did not feature there, in the end, and has not played a Twenty20 for his country since January 2011 and added on Sunday that he had no right to do so in Bangladesh because he was effectively cover for established openers Michael Lumb and Alex Hales.
It may nonetheless be diplomatic of Moores to divert, even in a small way, from the team which lost so haplessly and embarrassingly to Holland in their last Twenty20 fixture in Chittagong.
Captain Stuart Broad will be missing in any case, because he is not scheduled to return from his knee injury until the start of England's Test series against Sri Lanka in mid-June, and so his deputy Eoin Morgan will surely take over.
Moores restored James Anderson to the ODI team north of the border - his first in the intermediate format since last summer's Champions Trophy - but it is much longer, almost five years in fact, since the Test lynchpin seamer had any Twenty20 involvement.
A 12 for the Oval then may be most notable for the absence of Jade Dernbach and the inclusion of Aberdeen debutant left-arm seamer Harry Gurney instead.
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