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Gooch gets ringing endorsement from Bell

india Updated: Mar 01, 2011 12:27 IST

AFP
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England's Ian Bell has hailed the influence of batting coach Graham Gooch, saying he'd wished he'd worked with the former Test opener earlier in his career.

Bell, who made a composed 69 during England's thrilling World Cup tie with India here on Sunday before getting out going for a big shot under the influence of cramp, has long been regarded as one of the most technically gifted English batsmen of his generation.

But there have been times when the 28-year-old Warwickshire right-hander has appeared overwhelmed by the intensity of international sport.

However, during the last year-and-a-half Bell has produced some of his best performances for England.

Bell said the advice he'd received from Gooch, brought back into the fold by team coach Andy Flower, had been invaluable.

"He has been fantastic for me since he has come back," said Bell. "He is someone I wish I had worked with a lot earlier in my career.

"The experience he brings into our unit is something we can't replace," added Bell of Gooch, who swept India's spinners to distraction with a match-winning century in the 1987 World Cup semi-final in Mumbai.

"Not only that, but his work ethic with the players. I can't speak highly enough of him.

"He is just an incredible guy who adds a lot of experience and knowledge into our group and the way he played in World Cups in the past in the sub-continent, the experience he passes on to us is really important and he is a massive part of our group in Test cricket as well as one-day cricket."

One thing that wasn't around though when Gooch played one-day internationals was the batting powerplay and here Bell suggested England follow the example of India batting great Sachin Tendulkar.

England made a mess of their powerplay late on against India, losing four wickets for 25 runs as they replied to a total of 338 all out from the co-hosts that featured a record fifth World Cup hundred from Tendulkar.

"As soon as you try and hit the ball too hard and hit sixes every ball, both teams seemed to lose wickets at the back end," Bell said.

"The way Tendulkar played in the middle by just trying to play proper cricket shots seemed to be the more effective way on that wicket.

"It is something we will learn from and maybe look to score off more balls rather than hit every ball to the fence."