Wednesday, May 22, 2024

England vs Pakistan: Lauren Bell keen to keep pushing England’s bowling attack forward

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England’s pace bowler Lauren Bell is keen to continue playing international cricket and wants to push the bowling attack forward.

Bell has excelled since making her England debut in 2022, earning a World Cup call up in the following year, a Women’s Premier League deal with UP Warriorz and starring during the Ashes campaign last year.

These responsibilities have also come with important decisions. The 23-year-old followed her captain Heather Knight in pulling out of the WPL to focus on the New Zealand and Pakistan series, live on Sky Sports, and plans to continue prioritising the international scene to help England push their bowling attack forward in a World Cup year.

“I feel really fortunate that I have so much cricket on offer to me but it’s just unrealistic to be able to play all of it so it’s about working out what my priorities are throughout the year,” Bell said.

“I’m at a point in my career where my priority is international cricket and I love leading this bowling attack and we have so many seamers coming through so I want to keep leading it. I want to push England’s seam attack forward.”

With the Bangladesh World Cup taking place in October, live on Sky Sports, England are using their multi-format white-ball series against Pakistan to prepare for it and Bell doesn’t feel like she missed out on the WPL.

“The girls who played in India got a chance to play against the best players in the world and they were in those sub-continent conditions which is really good experience,” said Bell, who finished on figures of 3-22 during England’s first T20I against Pakistan.

“For someone like me, I’ve got more international T20 experience. I played against New Zealand, who have some world-class players too.

“I think there’s positive sides to both things. We had a series in India before Christmas and I went to the WPL the year before so I feel like I’ve have some sub-continent conditions as well.

“It’s not going to be completely new to me and I think we’ve got a lot of knowledge in the dressing room of what it’s going to be like and even though we’re not there yet, it doesn’t mean that right now I can’t start prepping for how it’s going to be in Bangladesh.”

England started off their three-match T20I series against Pakistan with a 53-run victory but not before being reduced to 11-4 in the powerplay by Pakistan’s spinners.

However England managed to weather the storm as they continued to be aggressive in both their batting and bowling approaches – a message reiterated by head coach Jon Lewis.

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Highlights of the opening T20 between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston

“Our approach will never change and neither will the messaging,” Bell added.

“I’m not a batter but the things that were being discussed was the way we go about our game and sticking to the attitude and the approach we have.

“We wanted to take the game forward and take the game on. That’s always Jon’s message and I don’t think he’ll move away from that.

“The fact that we were 11-4 and we still got to 163-6 shows the depth in our team and how deep we bat, so we took a lot of confidence from it.

“We didn’t start either innings the way we wanted to but still ended up winning by a large amount in T20 cricket and that just shows the character and the depth of this team.

“We are going to fail sometimes but we’re not going to go away from the way we want to play.”

Bell has had to adjust to the England set-up rapidly and is seeing the fruits of her labour with her skipper and coach entrusting her to bowl at crucial points during the match.

“It’s been quite a steep learning experience, I made my international debut quite young and I’m still learning on the international scene,” Bell said.

“After the Ashes I sat down and really thought about how I’m going to move my game forward and I realised that I had a bit more responsibility playing in all three formats and Knight was handing me the ball in quite important times so I do take a lot of confidence from it.

“When you’re backed by your captain and your coach it really gives you a feeling of responsibility as a player and it’s helped with pushing me forward.”

Watch England Women face Pakistan in the second T20I on Friday May 17 live on Sky Sports Cricket, with live coverage from 5.30pm. Stream Sky Sports with NOW – no contract, cancel anytime.

Women’s Vitality T20I Series vs Pakistan fixtures – live on Sky Sports

May 11: 1st Women’s T20I – Edgbaston, Birmingham, 2.30pm
May 17: 2nd Women’s T20I – The County Ground, Northampton, 6.30pm
May 19: 3rd Women’s T20I – Headingley, Leeds, 1pm

Women’s Metro Bank One-Day International Series vs Pakistan fixtures – live on Sky Sports

May 23: 1st Women’s One-Day International – The Incora County Ground, Derby, 1pm
May 26: 2nd Women’s One-Day International – The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, 11am
May 29: 3rd Women’s One-Day International – The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford, 1pm

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