Ian Bell: Yes we play a lot but my take is, 'You're a long time retired'

View From the Middle: We've seen some footage of their new bowlers, and it will be exciting

As we prepare for this important one-day series against Australia, I can say that I am even keener now to play for England than when I won my first cap, in a Test against West Indies in August 2004.

I've lost none of my hunger for the international game, and if I ever get to that point, it's the time to reassess things. I want to play at least another five years of as much cricket as I can for England, in all forms, then I'll look again after that.

There is nothing better than walking out at Lord's to play Australia, and you have to remember that there is plenty of time when you're retired to play your golf and look back at your career. When I've retired, I don't want to get to a point where I think "I wish I'd carried on for two years" or "I miss playing for England". You have highs and lows but you're testing yourself all the time and the opportunity is always there to go and score runs.

People talk about playing too much cricket but my priority in recent months has been to fight my way back into the one-day side, which thankfully, I've managed to do. I was up and down the order a bit, I was left out in the United Arab Emirates, and all I've been doing since is training to get back in. I've never had any thoughts about whether I'm playing too much.

We've played Australia quite often in recent years. England against Australia is a special series, and we want to keep it that way. If you play too much, it loses that importance. We want to keep these as really big series that come round only once every so often.

If you play too much then people will become bored of it and we never want that to happen. We want the Ashes always to be the pinnacle of our careers. That is what you look at most fondly when you consider what you've achieved in the game.

It does feel a little strange to be playing Australia outside an Ashes tour, and that's why these five one-day internationals will have little relevance to what happens in next summer's Ashes series in England. For example, Brett Lee doesn't play Test cricket any longer, but we expect him to lead Australia's attack in this series.

The first time I faced Lee was during the 2005 Ashes series, and you could see his quality immediately. He has consistently been one of the quickest bowlers around and now he has a lot of experience. He'll pitch it up, he'll swing and he has a good bouncer. He will also give a lot to their younger bowlers in terms of advice. We've seen some footage of their new young pace bowlers, like James Pattinson and Pat Cummins, and it will be an exciting challenge.

After these five matches, we're straight into a Test series with South Africa. It's a busy schedule and will always be a point of discussion, but I still enjoy playing this form of cricket as much as I ever did. For the last three years, I haven't had the luxury of being able to bat at the top of the order, whereas now I can have a clear game plan and mindset about how to go about things and how to improve. This is where I want to be.

This Australian series is another challenge for us and another great chance to test ourselves. People were talking about how the limited-overs games against West Indies would be difficult for us, because of their firepower and because they had some of the players back who had been playing in the Indian Premier League. But we went out against them, did what we do really well and beat them, both in the one-day series and the Twenty20 match. Hopefully, we can do the same in these games against Australia.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape