Nottingham: Ian Bell was pleased to see England seamers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn back bowling in the nets but backed county colleague Boyd Rankin to impress if given a chance in Wednesday's third one-day international against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.
England, after crushing defeats at Lord's and Southampton, cannot win this three-match series at 2-0 down and now have just one more chance to rediscover the winning feeling ahead of the one-day Champions Trophy tournament, where they are the host nation.
Their cause against the Black Caps has not been helped by the injury-enforced absence of both Broad (bruised knee) and Finn (shin) but the two pacemen did bowl in the Trent Bridge nets on Tuesday.
England must now decide whether it is worth giving them a chance to prove their fitness ahead of the side's Champions Trophy opener against Australia or, in a season featuring an Ashes series, allow them additional time to get back to top form.
"I guess I'm glad I don't have to make those decisions," top-order batsman Bell said Tuesday. "But it's good to see them in the nets bowling. Having faced them both you know they are quality one-day bowlers.
"They've certainly been two massive performers in one-day cricket so to have them back fit - or certainly training - is a big boost. It's always good to have a full squad and people competing for places. We'll see what the guys who have to make those decisions do."
Bell's Warwickshire colleague Rankin, a former Ireland paceman, joined the squad as cover and could yet make his England debut on Wednesday, even if Broad and Finn are fit, after Jade Dernbach's 10 wicketless overs at Southampton cost 87 runs.
"It's great for him to get in the squad. Facing him in the nets is horrible," Bell said of Rankin. "It's good to have him charging in in an England shirt and if an opportunity comes his way hopefully it goes well."