It’s been close to three years since Ian Bell last played in an international match for England. It was against Pakistan during England’s tour of UAE (2015), in a three-Test which they lost 0-2. Two years later, he was asked to step down from the captaincy of his county club Warwickshire following a drop in form across formats.

But now, the 36-year-old has witnessed a change in fortunes as runs are flowing. In eight matches of the county championship this season, he has scored 665 runs with three hundreds at an excellent average of 55.42. His limited-overs form has also been quite impressive 471 in 10 T20s (T20 Blast).

A year after the low of 2017, when he was contemplating retirement, Bell has now renewed hopes of making a comeback for England. In 118 Tests, Bell has hit 7727 runs at a healthy average of 42.69 with 22 centuries.

Considering England’s middle-order muddle, Bell isn’t ruling out the possibility of adding to his 118 Tests. “The questions (of comeback) have started to come a little bit more now, with the form I’ve had through the season and obviously England’s middle order,” he was quoted as saying by BBC on Wednesday. “If you asked me that question now I would definitely want to play again.”

Talking about his struggles in domestic cricket, Bell further added, “Last year, I wasn’t in a particularly good place. I’d struggled with the batting and there were some massive questions in my own mind as to whether it was time to retire and I did ask myself those questions.

Following that, Bell took a short break from cricket and once he was back in the nets, he had rediscovered his form. “I spoke to a lot of people I trust and I decided to have a real break. I spoke to the management and said I didn’t want to hit any cricket balls between now and the New Year. I don’t know quite how it works out like that but I came back and, in my first net with our batting coach Tony Frost, I hit the ball as well as I have done in the last couple of years,” he said.