Ian Bell: We don't need Kevin Pietersen in our side to win at Lord's

View From the Middle

When we left Leeds after drawing the second Test against South Africa, there was a sense that the momentum had shifted in our favour and we were in a positive frame of mind. A lot has happened since then but I can assure you we are approaching the decisive final Test with the same air of confidence.

Would I hope to play with Kevin Pietersen again in an England shirt? Yes, 100 per cent. There is no doubt about that. I'm a big Kevin Pietersen fan. You only have to see how he played the other day. He showed he is as dominant and ruthless a player as there is in world cricket.

Did I sense he was unhappy? I haven't spoken to him since we left Leeds and it's difficult to comment, not knowing the ins and outs.

For everyone in English cricket it would be great if we could win this Test, move on and see what the future holds, whether Kev will be back in the team or if he goes another route. That's out of our hands. We want to carry on winning Tests and trying to keep ourselves at the top in all forms.

I'm as confident about winning this Test without Kev as I would have been if he'd been here with us. The great thing about this team is that every player chips in towards victories. You only have to look at the last Ashes series to know that is true.

I'm aware that people are talking about team unity but as far as I'm concerned, our dressing room is still fantastic. I was unaware of the things that were going on. Not only is this dressing room very good, so is the culture of English cricket.

I have always found it easy to get on with people in this dressing room. We don't want a squad where everyone says "yes". A healthy dressing room is people who challenge each other and try to get better. That's what this environment is all about.

A lot of players overlap between the Lions and the senior team, which means very few people come in and don't know anyone. It's a very welcoming dressing room and still a great environment for us to try to win matches. We're a very strong team in all forms of the game and in recent times, I don't think English cricket has ever been in a better place.

We all desperately want to win every game we can play in. There have been issues but there is nothing I can do or say that will change what's gone on and it hasn't really affected me. As a player I can understand that the captain, the coach and the management have to look after the whole thing. For me it's about contributing to help England win.

I'm just looking forward to playing a part in Andrew Strauss's 100th Test match. He made his debut at Lord's and he will play his 100th Test here. There can't be any better place for him to do it. He is the best captain I've played under for England. As a role model, you can't get any better.

If you see him after he's batted, from the way he talks you wouldn't be able to tell whether he has got nought or a hundred, and that's where you want to get to as a cricketer. When you see Straussy, you would never know what was going on inside his head, and that's a great strength.

He's always been a mature person within the cricket environment, a great leader of men and the kind of guy you'd follow. There have been times in my career, such as 2009, when I had a couple of good chats with him, where he backed me fully and gave me confidence to play how I could, and since those days I've gone on to bigger and better things. He has really helped me to get the best out of myself. He has led this team from the front, sometimes in tough situations. This should be celebrated and everyone is really happy it's his 100th Test. It should mean the team is in a great mood going into the match.

Relates article from London's Evening Standard...

Andrew Strauss has more to think about than his 100th Test

Suggested Topics
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam