The Ashes: Ian Bell wants to bat at number three

Updated: 30 November 2013 17:50 IST

The withdrawal of regular number three batsman Trott with a stress-related illness following the first Test in Brisbane has left a hole in England's top order. Ian Bell and number six Joe Root are vying to slot into first-drop.

Alice Springs:

Ian BellEngland's Ian Bell said Saturday he wants to bat at number three after Jonathan Trott pulled out of Thursday's second Ashes Test against Australia in Adelaide. (Also read: Gavaskar says war of words need to be checked by strict rules)

"I'm absolutely willing to go to number three," said regular number five batsman Bell, who with three centuries was the star of the last Ashes series in England.

"But that decision is probably out of my control. We've got a number of options with the batting and balance of the side... but I put up my hand to go up the order."

The withdrawal of regular number three batsman Trott with a stress-related illness following the first Test in Brisbane has left a hole in England's top order.

Bell and number six Joe Root are vying to slot into first-drop.

And Zimbabwe-born Gary Ballance, who was man of the match during Saturday's draw in Alice Springs for his first-innings 55, is pushing for his Test debut in Adelaide in the middle order.

Test offspinner Graeme Swann gained some confidence following his mauling at the hands of Australia's batsmen in last week's first Test by picking up four for 56 in the game against the Australia Chairman's XI.

Test hopeful Monty Panesar claimed three for 41.

Trailing one-nil in the Ashes series, England may be tempted to recall Panesar in a twin-spin attack for Adelaide.

"It is a possibility. We've got that flexibility, two spinners, that he could play," Bell said.

England head to Adelaide on Sunday to prepare for the second Test.

Topics : Cricket Ian Bell The Ashes, 2013 West Indies Australia England The Ashes, 2013-14
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