Perth:England batsman Ian Bell has put his injury worries behind him and is out to silence his critics in the upcoming Ashes series.
Bell, 28, has a modest record against Australia and his most recent tour Down Under saw him targeted and taunted by champion leg-spinner Shane Warne in the 2006-2007 series as England slumped to a lamentable 5-0 series loss.
He averages just 25.68 in 13 Tests without a century against Australia, a huge drop on his career mark of 42.92, and was dropped from the team during that horror tour, which he described as a "massive learning curve".
However, Bell said he was not scarred by previous experiences against Australia and believed he was a much better player than in past Ashes appearances.
He points to the series against South Africa earlier this year, when he averaged just over 44, as a crucial turning point in his own career.
"In the past I haven't performed as well as I should have against Australia, but I think I am an improved cricketer over the last 18 months or two years," he said.
"Being out in South Africa last winter was a massive boost for me and it has continued on from there.
"That's (previous form against Australia) ... in the past ... over the last two or three years I have matured as a player," Bell said.
"This is coming at the right time for me," he added.
Bell's first priority, though, is to force his way back into the England Test team after being sidelined by a broken foot suffered in a one-day international against Bangladesh.
He missed the entire Test series against Pakistan as a result and the injury was an untimely one, as he was coming off averaging 101.50 with the bat in four Tests against Bangladesh, which was preceded by his successful series against South Africa.
Bell said he was again fully fit and aiming to do his best in the tour matches before the first Test in Brisbane, starting on November 25.
"Hopefully I can do as much as I can in these warm-up games to keep pushing my case," he said.
"I've enjoyed the first few days out here and feel like I have been hitting the ball well and hopefully I will continue with that in the warm-up games.
"I am going to keep working hard in the next three weeks, get myself in good form and as ready and fit as possible."
While many in the English camp have tried to bury the memories of their last tour to Australia, Bell believes it was an important step in the rebirth of the team.
"That Test series was a massive learning curve," he said.
"It was disappointing, but a lot of the guys who were on it learned a lot about how the best players in the world play and we were desperate to come back and improve after that series."