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21 March 201121:39

England are team to avoid, says Bell

Bell feels three good games and the team can win the world cup

England are team to avoid, says Bell - Cricket News

Ian Bell of England.

Ian Bell believes England's unpredictability means they are a side none of their rivals will want to face in the knockout stages of the World Cup.

England have been involved in several thrilling matches at the tournament. They tied with co-hosts India and beat a highly fancied South Africa yet lost to both Ireland and Bangladesh in the group stage.

And the Ashes-winners and World Twenty20 champions were on the brink of elimination from the World Cup when the West Indies, chasing 244 for victory, were 222 for six at Chennai's Chidambaram Stadium on Thursday.

Yet England took four wickets for three runs to stay in the tournament and now face a quarter-final against either Sri Lanka or Pakistan.

"In the last 12-18 months, when we've had matches we've got to win we've come out well," England batsman Bell said on Sunday.

"I'm sure there are a lot of teams around that don't really want to play England - because they don't quite know what they're going to get at the minute."

Bell admitted England had not played to their full potential at the World Cup but warned their best was yet to come.

"If we win all three matches, we'll be able to look back on one of the best (northern hemisphere) winters of all time," the 28-year-old said.

"Three games, and we can win a World Cup."

"It's been pretty incredible, tiring and a little bit frustrating that we haven't quite put it all together. We've played six games here and still haven't got it all right at the same time."

Bell said the Ashes winners had shown a huge desire to win their crunch match against the West Indies and believed they could beat anyone on their day.

Ever since England lost Kevin Pietersen to injury early in this tournament, Matt Prior has reverted to opening the innings alongside captain Andrew Strauss.

There are many who feel Bell, currently in at number four, would be a better option and he said: "One-day cricket is a great place to go up at the top of the order, with the field up."

"It's a good place to go out and bat, so I'd be really desperate to do that."

"But if I had to stay at four and keep to my role for the team, I'm happy to do that as well."

Bell, who has so far managed two fifties at this tournament, said: "I feel in great touch. But it's been hard work scrapping for runs coming in in the middle when it's been turning a lot."

"My role has been to play spin well, and it hasn't quite happened. But I still feel very confident about my game."

"I don't want to die wondering at this stage of the tournament. I want to be as positive as possible."