Last ring for Bell in third Test, feels Boycott

Birmingham, July 22 (IANS) England cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott believes it could be the end of senior batsman Ian Bell’s career if the right-hander does not deliver in the third Ashes Test starting here from July 29.

Bell is one of the senior players and has played 112 Test matches, scoring 22 centuries at an average of 43.18. However, the 33-year-old has had a tough time off late scoring just 116 runs in eight innings and Boycott feels Bell needs to pull his socks up and lead from the front.

“They can’t go on with someone not getting runs,” Boycott was quoted as saying by bbc.co.uk on Tuesday.

“If you have played over 100 Tests, you need to take responsibility for the very difficult position of number three,” said the 74-year-old.

Bell has been moved up a place to bat at No.3 after Gary Ballance was replaced by Jonny Bairstow in England’s squad for the third Test.

“You need a be a bit like an opener. The way England are playing at the moment, they definitely need three openers at the top. Bell has to shoulder that responsibility and go up front. He needs to help the other guys out,” Boycott, who represented England in 108 matches, said.

“The selectors are saying, ‘if you don’t perform at three, you are gone’. I love Ian Bell and his cricket, he is beautiful to watch. But if you don’t have the mind or the defensive technique against pace bowling, you are going to get out.”

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