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Says Bell, I Was Lucky To Survive

Bangalore, Feb 28: England batsman Ian Bell today said he was lucky to be "pushed back to the crease" by the Umpire Decision Review System when he was most certainly out LBW against India in
PTI February 28, 2011 16:51 IST
PTI
Bangalore, Feb 28: England batsman Ian Bell today said he was lucky to be "pushed back to the crease" by the Umpire Decision Review System when he was most certainly out LBW against India in the thrilling World Cup match that ended in a tie here.

Bell contributed 69 valuable runs as England tied the scores after being set an imposing target of 339 by the Indians.

Bell survived the LBW appeal when he was on 17. He was adjudged not out by the on-field umpire as he had taken quite a few strides down the pitch.

The Indians appealed against it under the UDRS but the third umpire did not change the decision as under the rules, there was a more than 2.5 metre distance between the point of impact and the stumps.

"I did not know whether the rule existed. To be honest, it is strange, if you see the hawk-eye saying it is going to hit the stumps. I saw it pitching on me and hitting the stumps," Bell told reporters here.

"In the Ashes series, we were getting the results on the positive side. Playing in recent times, I think, we got more decisions right than wrong. If they (ICC) change anything now during the World Cup, we have to get on with it and use it well. As I said, I was lucky as the fourth Umpire pushed me back on to the crease. I wanted to cash in on when they did that.

"I was not aware of the rule. I saw that on the big screen that the ball was going towards the stump. It was reviewed too," he added.

Bell said given the brilliantly paced chase that England managed till the 41st over, they should have won the match. "We have not done a lot while chasing a total of 340 or above. Looking back we could have taken two points. It was a fantastic game of cricket. Both the teams had opportunities to win the game," he said.

"India's batting was incredible to watch at times being in the field. They played pretty good cricket yesterday. They made it very hard for our bowlers to bowl to. Our mind was focussed on calming down and take the bowlers," he added.

Bell said the pitch at the Chinnaswamy Stadium was excellent for batting but it was quite a nightmare for the bowlers.

"Last night was an interesting one. Both the teams just trying hard to hit the ball for sixes. The way (Sachin) Tendulkar played in the middle was just proper cricket shots. I think, it was the more effective manner of batting on the wicket last night.

Bell said the English have taken a lot of positives from the game.

"Looking back, it was one of the greatest ODI match that has been played. We are into our gear in this World Cup. Hopefully, we can take a lot of confidence from last night's game. It was another improved performance from us," he said.

Recalling his dismissal in the match, Bell said he was battling cramps at that time.

"It was disappointing to get out at that point. I was cramped up. When the powerplay came, I thought the better option is to take a boundary. I really enjoyed the partnership with Strauss. Personally it was a worthy one," he said.

Bell said England are now a genuine World Cup contender. "We were chasing 338 and I do not think so many teams in the past would have done that. We have got the quality in bowling and we were 100 per cent right in our fielding too. We can be a threat to the other teams in the World Cup if we start playing collectively as a group. As a team we can match anyone," Bell said.

Bell was lavish in his praise for Strauss and said he felt privileged to share a partnership with the inspirational skipper.

"Arguably for me playing in along Strauss is the best for a long time. Strauss had everything. He had boundaries when he wanted to. He rotated the strike, he played the sweeps and honestly, he looked very hard to bowl to. If you have a player like him in the top of the order all things will be in good stead.

"In the next game if Strauss is not getting a hundred, the other guys in the top order would make centuries. The rest of our players could muster useful runs. It is going to help us in the competition," he said.

Asked whether India let it slip with ordinary bowling and fielding, Bell said both the teams played extremely well in testing conditions.

"It is very early in the World Cup to give any comments. India had a fantastic game yesterday. It was not an easy wicket to bowl on. We were lucky to play on two fantastic wickets in the tournament, which is not going to be easy for bowlers," he said.

Bell said as expected the sub-continent has been tough on bowlers.

"I think the conditions have been very hard for the bowlers. the batting team has to score heavy to defend. None of our bowlers actually had gone for six or more from an over (yesterday). It was a fantastic performance by Tim (Bresnan). It was an outstanding performance by him on a surface like this. He is in incredible form," Bell said.

Asked to comment young wicketkeeper Steven Davies' revelation of being gay, Bell said the English team knew about it and continues to respect him.

"We knew about it before the Ashes series. That does not change anything. He is a very popular guy. Our team is behind him. He is an important person of the Unit. It had no effect on any of the guys in our team. He has a massive future with the English cricket," he said. PTI