x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ian Bell pays tribute to England cricket coach Graham Gooch

Now that the dust has settled on England’s 266-run victory at the Ageas Bowl, which was their first in almost a year, Bell has revealed that Gooch was instrumental in helping him find form once again.

England's Ian Bell, left, celebrates reaching his century as team-mate Moeen Ali looks on during the third cricket test match against India at the Rose Bowl cricket ground, Southampton, England July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Philip Brown
England's Ian Bell, left, celebrates reaching his century as team-mate Moeen Ali looks on during the third cricket test match against India at the Rose Bowl cricket ground, Southampton, England July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Philip Brown

Ian Bell has paid tribute to former England batting coach Graham Gooch for helping to get him back amongst the runs.

Bell compiled a stylish 167 against India in the third Test at Southampton to arrest a wretched run of form with the bat that had seen the Warwickshire man go 20 Test innings without a century.

Now that the dust has settled on England’s 266-run victory at the Ageas Bowl, which was their first in almost a year, Bell has revealed that Gooch was instrumental in helping him find form once again.

Read more: Steve Finn returns to England Squad for India Test

In an interview in the Daily Mail, Bell explained that two days after England’s 95-run defeat in the second Test, he asked Gooch, who was let go by England in May, to travel to Edgbaston for a one-on-one session and the decision seemingly paid immediate dividends.

England’s number four batsman said: “We have a really good set-up with England, but sometimes it’s nice to have another set of eyes.

“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.”

Bell added: “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.”

England and India lock horns once again on Thursday when the fourth Test gets under way at Old Trafford.

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