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Ian Bell to recover in time to play for England in the second Test against New Zealand


Ian Bell is expected to recover from tonsillitis in time to play for England in the second Test against New Zealand starting on Friday.

He was forced to leave his sick bed to try to shore up the second innings in the match at Lord’s, but England’s medical team are confident there will be no relapse.

Although England eventually won in a grand manner with some wonderful bowling, it was largely a disappointing match for their batsmen. Bell was among those who had a poor time of it.

His illness was the reason for his lethargy in making 31 from 133 balls in the first innings and then driving to slip in the second, but it was hard to resist comparisons with another England batsman who suffered from tonsillitis. On the 1932-33 Bodyline Tour of Australia, Eddie Paynter left a Brisbane nursing home where he had been committed with a temperature of 102F, made a heroic 83 and won the match with a six. With Bell fit, there are unlikely to be any changes to the squad.

Kevin Pietersen hopes to play again for Surrey at the end of next month. No date has yet been set for his return from a knee injury but he will put immediate pressure on at least four members of the England batting order for the Ashes.

New Zealand have called up  left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori to replace Bruce Martin ahead of the second Test. Martin’s tour has ended because of a calf injury.