Ian Bell
Ian Bell

Manchester: Despite extending the lead to 85 runs, the ongoing fourth cricket Test between India and England is “nicely poised”, feels England’s middle-order mainstay Ian Bell.

Bell, who scored 58 in England’s unfinished first innings total of 237 for six at the end of rain-hit day two yesterday, also had words of appreciation for the Old Trafford wicket, which according him is the “best” of the season.

“It (match) certainly is poised very nicely. Hopefully tomorrow we can get past the 100-run lead maybe get 150 runs ahead if we can. That will put us in a nice position,” Bell said.

“So far this has been a nice Test match, probably the best cricket wicket we have had all season. It has good pace, good for batsmen and bowlers alike,” he said after nearly two sessions were washed out by rain yesterday.

The batsman was full of praise for young India paceman Varun Aaron, who has figures of 3/48 so far in his first Test of the series.

“He bowled well obviously to pick those wickets. He has a bit of pace and he has used it on this pitch. He is really complimenting Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the moment and the Indian attack looks well balanced in this match with the two spinners in there as well,” Bell said.

“We have two good batsmen at the crease. But it is going to depend a lot on the conditions tomorrow. They have made a big difference in the game so far as we have seen. Someone like Buttler, if he bats for long, can bat at some rate so hopefully the sun will be shining tomorrow,” Bell added.

The rain that came nine overs after lunch didn’t stop until the scheduled tea-time and as such there were too many wet patches to dry off. The boundary areas were especially soggy and that made the task tougher and thus play couldn’t get started again.

Bell said waiting for conditions to get better was not that he and his teammates enjoyed.

“Yes it was a little frustrating for everyone. We would rather be out there than just inside. But the groundsmen worked really hard, they gave everything but unfortunately we couldn’t get on the ground again. It is a shame really, for everyone, the players and the fans,” Bell signed off.

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