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Ian Bell (left) roared back to form with a fighting hundred at Southampton © Getty Images

Aug 4, 2o14

England’s batting maverick Ian Bell, who roared back to form with a cracking 167 at Southampton against India to set up England for their first Test win in a year, attributed England’s’ former batting coach Graham Gooch for his return to run-scoring ways.

Frustrated with his poor run of scores, Bell had sought the help of the former batting great after England’s crushing defeat at Lord’s. ‘We have a really good set-up with England, but sometimes it’s nice to have another set of eyes,’ Bell said, in Dailymail interview.

‘I used to have Neil Abberley here at Warwickshire, someone you could chat through a few things with. Because they’re not so attached to the game, there’s less emotion involved, and it’s nice to do that with Goochy — a net session with someone who can help me reconnect in a different way.’

Continuous run of poor results in all formats since the turn of the year cost Gooch his job in April 2014. Being quizzed as to what makes one of England’s all-time top run scores tick, England’s No 4 says, ‘He does one-on-one net sessions really well, . He never goes through the motions. He puts you under the pump, which is where you are in a Test match. He never gets over-complicated or technical. It’s about making sure you’re in the right frame of mind.’

‘As Goochy always says, you should always be looking to score runs, not just to survive. It’s nice to refresh that from time to time. Generally we’re always exchanging text messages.

‘And if he’s available I try to make the most of him for a couple of hours. If I get the chance I’d like to keep doing that.’

On being probed about the ‘Pushgate’ incident, which had grabbed the headlines for all the reasons so far, Bell said that pace spearhead James Anderson, alongside his teammates had completely avoided the topic in the dressing room.

‘Maybe it (the episode) has brought us tighter together,’ he said. ‘No one’s really discussed it too much. Jimmy wanted it that way, to focus on the cricket. But hopefully it will keep us tight as a unit. Jimmy was at the top of his game — he must prefer those headlines.’

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014