Ashes

Bell: No need to panic

2010-11-25 12:22
Ian Bell (AFP)

Brisbane - In-form batsman Ian Bell said there was no reason for England to panic after an all-too-familiar botched start to an Australian Ashes campaign in the first Gabba Test on Thursday.

Video: Peter Siddle hattrick

England, coming off an impressive tour leadup, collapsed mid-innings as Australian paceman Peter Siddle claimed a hat-trick to help skittle the tourists for 260.

At stumps, Australia's openers Shane Watson and Simon Katich had negotiated seven overs for the home side to trail by 235 runs at 25 without loss.

Although England come into the series as holders of the Ashes, their last series down under ended in a humiliating 5-0 series whitewash and Thursday's outcome prompted some early soul-searching.

Asked at his post-stumps press conference if England should be worried by their shaky position after the opening day, Bell declared: "Of course not."

"It's probably a better day than we did the last time we were here, so we are going to come out scrapping tomorrow morning.

"Obviously it hasn't all gone to plan today(Thursday), but we'll come back tomorrow(Friday) scrapping.

"The guys are still in good spirits, we know what we need to do tomorrow(Friday) and the guys are ready for it."

Bell looked the pick of England's batsmen, topscoring with 76 off 131 balls with eight fours, coming on top of his 192 against Australia A in the leadup tour game in Hobart last weekend.

England looked to be travelling well with Bell's 72-run partnership for the fifth wicket before Peter Siddle's hat-trick triggered a collapse with just 63 runs added for the last six wickets.

"We (and Cook) felt pretty good with our partnership and as we were ticking along our goal was to go small bits at a time and try to get ourselves to a decent score," Bell said.

"But credit to Siddle and Australia, I thought they finished the day off fantastically well, that spell of bowling probably turned the day on its head a little bit."

Bell acknowledged that England's total was "under par".

"We are not a million miles away from a par score, we know we are under par," he said.

"It was a slow wicket and it swung all day, there are some disappointed guys, but it's day one of an Ashes series and we have an opportunity for our taller bowlers to come in and hit the pitch hard tomorrow.

"If it quickens up a little bit we'll be in the game."

Read more on:    ashes  |  peter siddle  |  ian bell
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