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Ian Bell finds support from Joe Root

Ian Bell finds support from Joe Root
Joe Root (right) has backed Ian Bell (left) to perform well in the Edgbaston Test.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England vice-captain, Joe Root, came to the defence of his veteran teammate, Ian Bell, who has been struggling for runs in the recent past.

Bell has just a single half-century from his previous 12 Test innings and has looked woefully out of touch with the bat but Root exuded confidence in his senior batsman’s abilities.

While the talk is that another failure at Edgbaston may spell trouble for Bell’s spot in the England Test line-up, Root denied that the 33-year-old was being pressurized by the team management.

"I think every international player is playing for their place at all times," said Root.

"Ian's record is fantastic, and he's playing at his home ground.

"Last time the Ashes were in England he was outstanding, and I'm sure he will want to put a marker down and get form that he will stay in for the rest of the season."

Having been through a golden 12 months with the willow, Root had a rare twin failure at Lord’s during England’s massive 405-run defeat.

Root admits that England’s batsmen particularly the top-order needs to put up an improved show for the hosts to succeed in the series.

"The top order just has to go out and play its own game," he added.

"It's not gone to plan so far but we've got some really talented players out there.”

Reflecting on the Lord's defeat, Root opined that England were guilty of rash shot-selection and urged his batsmen to show more resolve at Edgbaston.

Lack of big partnerships was sorely missing at Lord’s and Root hopes that his team can tick the box during the remainder of the series.

“It's about making sure we do everything we can to build big partnerships and put them back under pressure.

"We know how we felt at Lord's, and we want to put that back on Australia."

Root didn’t have an answer when asked about England’s inconsistent form in the longer version of the game this year.

The 24-year-old was quick to accept the flaws in England’s performances of late, but doesn’t believe that it has all been negative for his team.

On three occasions now in as many series, England have started a series well with a resounding victory only for the opponents to strike back with a massive win.

"It's hard to put my finger on it, we're just not as consistent as we'd like to be,” said Root.

"It's not through lack of effort. We've got a few young players finding their feet, and it will come with time.

"Throughout this summer, we've always come back from heavy defeats well.

"There's so much confidence in the camp, and we'll be looking to put them back on the back foot on Wednesday."

England have not won the third Test of an Ashes series since 1981 - a jinx that they will be looking to break at Edgbaston.

© Cricket World 2015