Ian Bell: No problem: it's not the right time to drop top six

Rejigged order has not helped but batters will click
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The Independent Online

England's top order failed again. It has been a tough series,scrappy, not as we expected. There is not a lot to say. A lot of runs haven't flowed, but that doesn't change the fact that the top six are good players, and it doesn't change the fact that they have scored a lot of runs together. I don't see it as a problem. There was no problem in the past and I don't see that there is a problem now.

Going into this match I was averaging 43 [in Test cricket] and felt in pretty good form. True, I got out badly yesterday. It was one of those shots where I had too much time and too many options about what I could have done with the delivery, and ended up doing nothing.

We didn't do as well as we should, but the wickets are a bit misleading here. A lot of credit has to go to New Zealand, who have done a good job of containing us. People jump on the bandwagon very quickly.

I'm not going to defend the fact that we haven't batted very well in this series, but if New Zealand had gone out there and scored a hell of a lot more runs than we did it would be different. But they haven't.

Normally, England would score at four or four-and-a-half runs an over, but in this series it's been two or touching three a lot of the time. I was in some of the best form of my life coming into this series. It's not easy to come into a Test when you're playing people in their backyard who know how to bowl on their own type of wickets. You have to go and fight hard, which is what we're trying to do.

We have jiggled round the order quite a bit, and maybethat hasn't helped at times. We have just got to settle down and get back to doing what we do. Hopefully something will click and we will be back into it.

If we win this Test match, why would you change things that have been successful in the past two or three years? But that's not up to me; it's up to the selectors if they think a batting-order coup d'état is necessary. Look at our line-up and we have got a top six who average 40-plus, and if you look at New Zealand they haven't got one player who averages 40.

England will play South Africa later this season. They have got world-class players, but I'm not sure all of them average over 40. Again, that's up to the selectors.

But if people think everyone has got to be dropped I think it's a miscalculation, because there are some world-class players in the team. It's up to us to take a good look at ourselves, get a couple of weeks' break, get some runs in county cricket and turn things round.

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