Bell impressed by Stokes
Perth - Senior England batsman Ian Bell says the performance of youngster Ben Stokes has been one positive to emerge from the wreckage of the team's Ashes defence.
The English look almost certain to hand the urn over to the rejuvenated Australians on the final day of the third Test on Tuesday, although Bell refused to concede the cause was lost.
If England are to save the match, much will be needed from second-gamer Stokes, the last of their recognised batsman. He was 72 not out at stumps after making his maiden Test half-century, with the struggling Matt Prior on seven and just an underperforming tail to follow.
Bell and Stokes put on 99 for the fifth wicket and the experienced right-hander said he had been extremely impressed by the performance of the Durham 22-year-old with both bat and ball during his first two Tests.
"Ben Stokes, I thought, was outstanding today," he said.
"His potential for the future looks massive. His character with the ball as well, he kept running in all day yesterday and today, which is a good sign for us.
"He's a really good find."
The New Zealand-born Stokes was not a certain starter in the third Test, but held his spot and has seized his chance, bowling with determination in an attack weakened by the loss of Stuart Broad to a foot injury and then backing it up with the bat.
Bell said he was confident Stokes had the makings of a quality all-rounder with a long international career ahead.
"I think he's got a fantastic future ahead of him," he said.
"The way he's shown he can play quick bowling, the way he hits down the ground, and just that attitude with the ball.
"He runs in all day, he bowls good pace.
"He showed today what he can do with the bat and I think he's got a massive future for us, which is exciting."