Bell still ringing on Test door

TEST HOPES: English batsman Ian Bell hopes his spell with the Perth Scorchers in the BBL will help land him a return to the England Test team.
TEST HOPES: English batsman Ian Bell hopes his spell with the Perth Scorchers in the BBL will help land him a return to the England Test team. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

CRICKET: Perth Scorchers recruit Ian Bell has not given up hope of making a return to the England Test team but his focus right now is his new gig in the Big Bash League.

Bell told he still wanted to add to his 118 Tests and five Ashes series wins after he starred with 61 off 41 balls on debut for the Scorchers in a win over the Strikers.

"I definitely want to get back in the (Test) team,” he said.

"I've been very lucky to have had a long career.

"I'd like to force my way back in, but that's not really on my mind out while I'm out here. My mind is just on winning games for Perth Scorchers.

"I haven't played a lot of T20 through Test appearances. It's nice to be able to get the opportunity to play in one of the best T20 tournaments in the world with some great players.

"I'm going to learn a lot from some very good players in the next month or so and try to improve my T20 skills.

"When you come to a new team and you're the overseas player, you want to start well, so it was nice to get a win and contribute with the bat.”

Bell, who will line up for the Scorchers against the Sixers at the SCG tonight, also said he had some sympathy for England skipper Alastair Cook, but also said it was "only a matter of time” before Joe Root took over.

"Cooky has earnt the right to call his time,” Bell said.

"He's been very successful not just in terms of the runs he's scored, but also in terms of his stats as captain.

"It looks like Rooty is the man to take over.

"I'm sure, as Cooky has done right through his career, he'll make the right call for the team ahead of his own individual thoughts.”

Bell has played 35 Tests alongside Root and said he was ready for the extra responsibility of taking the captaincy.

"He came into the team and started learning, (then) he got left out (but) then came back in. The great thing about Joe is he learns very quickly,” Bell said.

"He's obviously become a world-class player like Smith and Kohli at the minute.

"He's always had that natural ability.

"The consistency has been fantastic and hopefully that can continue when he does (become captain).

"I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he does become England captain and hopefully those runs keep coming.”

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