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Bell extols value of victory in Sri Lanka

By Rob Barnett

Ian Bell, victorious during England’s last one-day series in Sri Lanka, says “to win out there is as good as winning anywhere in the world”.

Bell played in all five games as Paul Collingwood’s side came from behind to prevail 3-2 during October 2007.

England, now with Alastair Cook as captain but again with Peter Moores as coach, are heading to Sri Lanka for seven one-day internationals as they build up for the World Cup early next year.

Bell, who is expected to bat at the number-three spot he occupied seven years ago, knows what to expect when the tourists touch down.

Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, he said: “It’s so hot and the humidity is going to be so different to what we’re used to playing in, so you have to adapt to that pretty quickly. For us batting and bowling, it makes it quite difficult.

On the 2007 triumph, Ian Bell said: "It felt like quite scrappy cricket, not particularly high-scoring games, but always right down to the wire."

“To win out there is as good as winning anywhere in the world because it’s so tough. You’re playing in conditions so different to what you’re used to, and that’s exciting as well.”

Bell fondly recalls the 2007 success when scoring was low, with just one total above 234, as England overcame an opening defeat to take an unassailable 3-1 lead.

However, having lost by a 3-2 margin when the teams met most recently, during May and June, Bell is ready for the challenge ahead in Sri Lanka and the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga.

On the 2007 series, Bell, who struggled to make an impact, said: “It felt like quite scrappy cricket, not particularly high-scoring games, but always right down to the wire.

“Sri Lanka have got some world-class players in their side. It’s always hard work – we’ve seen that this summer as well, what they’re capable of – so (there’s a) tough challenge ahead of us.

“But again, (it’s) good to have a month together as a group, certainly before we go to Australia, to be able to be together, talk about one-day cricket, getting tight as a unit, and that’s really important.”

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