Ian Bell: Unlike KP, I am desperate to get back in ODI team

View From the Middle: In Tests, there is nowhere to hide. Somehow, Twenty20 cricket isn't the same

We all respect Kevin Pietersen's decision to retire from one-day international cricket, and I can understand that, at some point, a player might want to prioritise. I can say, however, it's not a call I feel I'm close to making right now.

I want to get back into the one-day team and, at 30, I feel as though I'm coming into the best years of my career, so I want to play as much as I can for England. I want to play more than 100 Tests – I've reached 76 – and to be involved in all forms for the next five or six years.

Kev's move to quit the 50-over game also shows that he sees Tests as the No 1 form, and that's a credit to the five-day game. He wants to play as much Test cricket as possible, and we've seen certain players, like Brett Lee, retire from Test cricket to prolong their careers in the limited-overs game.

I'm back at Edgbaston, my home ground, for today's match against West Indies, and it's a place that holds so many memories. I remember scoring my first hundred, as a 10-year-old against Gloucestershire Under-11s, on the Colts ground. I recall my first-team debut for the county aged 17, even if I made a duck.

There are England memories, too. I was on the field when Geraint Jones took the catch to dismiss Mike Kasprowicz to win England the 2005 Ashes Test here, probably one of the greatest games of all time. And last year, I had a beer in the home dressing room after helping England beat India and reach the top of the ICC Test rankings.

This place was such a part of my life as a cricketer, and it makes you wonder about the ambitions of young kids today. When I was a youngster, I wanted to play Tests for England. Now, it's possible that kids are looking at playing in the Indian Premier League and that they're not bothered about playing for England. Instead of working on batting for a whole day, they might be trying to learn to hit the ball out of the ground or flick it over their heads.

The IPL is a great tournament and I'd like to play more Twenty20, so this is not a criticism, just an idea about how life will go. There is no reason why Twenty20 and Test cricket can't carry on side by side. The important thing, though, is for us to look after the longest form of the game. If you asked all international cricketers which form of the game gives them the most satisfaction, I'm sure the majority would say it was Tests, so we have to make sure it is seen as the most important.

You go back in history and look at the records of the great players. We've seen Viv Richards here as a commentator for this series: a legend of the game and the sort of player you can measure yourself against. Twenty20 just doesn't have the same kind of kudos. One year, someone will hit the ball out of the ground, but the next, there will always be someone who comes along and can hit it further, so it's such a short-term thing.

In Tests, there is nowhere to hide. If you've a problem against the short ball, your opponents will find out and challenge you. If you have a weakness outside off stump, it will be exposed. Somehow, Twenty20 just isn't the same.

I've heard this week that no Warwickshire batsman has scored a Test hundred for England at Edgbaston, and while it would be lovely to change that this week, making a century at my home ground is not on my list of goals and I'm not going to sit here worrying about it. I was in the team here last year when we reached No 1 in the rankings, and I'll look back on that just as fondly as I would a Test hundred.

It's important not to get too keyed up when I go out to bat here. That probably happened to me last year and I played too aggressively. Hopefully this time, I can contribute to the victory that makes it a 3-0 series win for England.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions