Bell keen to take responsibility

Ian Bell insists he and his England team-mates must take responsibility for their own performance - and he expects a new, improved Peter Moores to give them the freedom to do so.

Ian Bell, pictured, insists it is time for England players to take personal and collective responsibility
Ian Bell, pictured, insists it is time for England players to take personal and collective responsibility

Bell, a cornerstone among the senior resources Moores has inherited for his second stint as head coach, is adamant no one but he and his fellow players should be called to account for results.

Since England's embarrassing Ashes whitewash last winter, Andy Flower has stepped aside as team director - one of a clutch of changes in backroom and management personnel.

But Bell, who underpinned an opening victory at the start of the new era under Moores and captain Alastair Cook with a half-century against Scotland in Aberdeen, believes the onus always has to be on the players themselves.

Moores came into conflict, back in 2008 and early 2009, with then captain Kevin Pietersen - in the end losing his job after a power struggle.

Bell is sure Moores' second tenure will be very different.

"He's a very good coach with lots of qualities, and I'm sure he's learnt from mistakes he's made - I know he's said that," Bell said.

"I think he's got that experience of probably understanding international cricket a bit more.

"I'm sure he's learnt a lot in the five years he's been with Lancashire."

The England and Wales Cricket Board has already recruited Paul Farbrace, at Moores' instigation, as his assistant - and Bell is encouraged by first impressions of the new regime.

He anticipates a less prescriptive approach from Moores these days.

"Maybe he will go away a bit from looking at stats all the time and give a bit more responsibility to us," Bell said.

"It's important for us to make decisions."

Yet, no matter how England fare against Sri Lanka and India this summer as they try to put their miserable and chaotic winter behind them, Bell emphasises it will be down to those who take the field to do the business.

"Looking back, you can't blame the coaches for what happened in the winter," he said.

"We should have taken responsibility and didn't do that. We hope he will now give us the chance to make amends."

At the age of 32 and with 246 international caps to his name across the formats, Bell is happy to buy into the premise that success or otherwise is his own responsibility.

"The players have to stand up and score runs and take wickets, no matter who's coaching," he said.

"We've got two guys who have been brilliant so far.

"They will be finding their feet over the next few days, but they have challenged us already.

"We've really enjoyed it, but it's about the players standing up and winning games for England."

Bell moved into second spot on Friday, behind only Paul Collingwood, in England's list of all-time one-day international runscorers.

He did so in a match which was a 'Twenty20' in all but name, thanks to the Aberdeen rain.

But with a Twenty20 squad and an updated ODI one too to be named on Tuesday, he is not fretting over whether he makes the cut in the shortest format.

Bell was called into England's ICC World Twenty20 squad as a replacement for the injured Joe Root two months ago, but did not play either in preparation in the West Indies or during a faulty campaign in Bangladesh.

"I hadn't played a Twenty20 game for three years for anyone," he said.

"It's hard to get into the team when I hadn't played.

"I recognised I was there as cover, and the only way I could have played was at the top of the order.

"But (Alex) Hales and (Michael) Lumb have been very strong there for a while now, so unless there was an injury I wasn't going to play."

Irrespective of England's fortunes against world champions Sri Lanka in a one-off Twenty20 at The Oval, Bell is convinced they can demonstrate this summer that they are over their Ashes mishap - just as they did, eventually, after their previous whitewash in Australia seven years ago.

"Having been involved in 06/07, I think it is possible to turn things round, and I believe we can do it again.

"Yes, it will take a little bit of time. But in English conditions, I'd back us to beat anyone in the world."