Cricket

Bell shrugs off Cook worry

2013-10-29 13:54
Ian Bell (Getty)

Perth - England's Ian Bell dismissed concerns about the fitness of Alastair Cook ahead of the Ashes series after the skipper sat out a training session in Perth Tuesday.

Cook walked the boundary of the suburban Floreat Oval and did some stretching as the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Matthew Prior batted to deliveries from teammates, but batsman Bell shrugged off injury concerns about the opener.

"I'm sure he'll be fine," Bell said.

"He's had the odd little niggle with the back. I suppose we all have certain areas we have to keep working on.

"Obviously a long flight isn't always easy. I'm sure he'll be right in the next week or so."

Bell said he expected both Cook and Stuart Broad, who was also not seen taking the field at the training session, to be "pretty good really soon".

But it leaves a question mark over whether they will be part of the team which plays a three-day tour match against a second-string Western Australian Chairman's XI at the WACA Ground starting on Thursday.

The match clashes with Western Australia's opening Sheffield Shield game against Victoria and Test players Shaun Marsh, Ashton Agar and Marcus North are all playing in the WA Shield side so won't be available to face England.

Australia is fighting to win back the Ashes for the first time in six years, with this series coming hard on the heels of England's 3-0 win on home soil earlier this year.

Broad was labelled "public enemy" during that series over his contentious decision not to walk in the first Test, and Bell said he hoped the issue wouldn't dominate this series.

"I think we've all been guilty of nicking one and not walking at certain times of our career," Bell said.

"You get rough decisions sometimes, and then you might get away with one. That's the beauty of the game at times. It's swings and roundabouts."

The Ashes series starts in Brisbane on November 21.

Read more on:    england  |  ian bell  |  cricket
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