By CricketCountry Staff
London: Aug 12, 2012
England batsman Ian Bell believes the team hasn’t performed in the last twelve months and they need to pull up their socks if they want to keep their No 1 spot.
"We haven't performed. Over the last 12 months we haven't really been in the form of the last three years so it's put us under pressure to stay there,” said Bell.
"We have got to learn from these lessons if we want to keep being number one or if we want to get back there if we lose the spot."
"We were so hungry to get to number one and that feeling of chasing number one is something that drove us really hard."
"It's been a bit different being the team being chased by the other teams, a bit like the position India were in last year."
Bell also pointed out that people have started to see the team from a different perspective.
"That's been a change and also how people have viewed us as well. Andy Flower (team director) was keen to remind us that the hard work was only just starting when we got to number one.”
"It's like getting your first Test cap. You think you've made it but there is such a huge journey after that. Getting to number one was just part of it. We wanted as a group to stay there as long as possible,” Bell expressed.
"Things just started to turn at the end of the Headingley Test and hopefully we can take that momentum into Lord's."
"We have always believed we can beat any team - certainly in England. We know we can beat South Africa. I think they fully know and respect the fact that we can beat them."
"The three series I have played against South Africa have been really tough and really close and I don't expect this Test match to be any different."
"We've set a really high bar in terms of what we want to achieve but also South Africa have come and played really well."
Bell blamed England’s performance for the loss at The Oval.
"They haven't taken us by surprise, but we just didn't get things right at The Oval in the first match."
"Hopefully we can start well at Lord's. We don't know what it's going to be like. We don't know what the wicket will be like. Will it be a result wicket? Lord's generally gets flatter and flatter."
"It's great for Test cricket. It's just a shame it is only a three-match series. The standard of this cricket means it should be a five-match series."
"It's a shame that the series will have come and gone so quickly. I don't really like three-match series," Bell was quoted as saying by www.sportinglife.com.
"You lose a bit to the weather or have a draw and it's gone. This should have been a five-match series,” Bell concluded.