Positive approach pays off for Bell

Ian Bell admitted a positive approach had paid dividends as he provided a fitting riposte to his critics with 141 as England finished the fourth day in sight of victory over South Africa.

Bell's position in the side had been questioned following a poor run of form but a fine 227-ball innings guided England to 575 for nine.

Bell then caught Ashwell Prince off the bowling of Graeme Swann as the hosts were reduced to 76 for six with a day remaining in Durban.

The 27-year-old insisted he had not listened to much of the criticism he had been subject to but revealed returning to a simple approach was behind his improvement.

Bell told Sky Sports 1: "I haven't listened to a lot of that.

"If I got selected it was a matter of me scoring some runs.

"I just needed to get out and score some runs and in this innings luckily I've done that.

"I'd made a few errors thinking about games too much. Sometimes you can make it too complicated.

"I walked away and looked at a few things. I'd changed what I didn't need to do.

"This game I've gone back to what I've done in the past.

"I just wanted to play positive cricket. I was probably on the wrong side of being negative in last game, in this I was just positive."

On being asked if it had been an almost perfect day, Bell concurred, saying: "It was.

"It was a matter of winning the first hour this morning."