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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 August, 2004, 18:42 GMT 19:42 UK
Bell enjoys debut day
Ian Bell
Bell played some attractive shots through the off-side
Ian Bell said he was "pretty happy" with his first experience of Test match cricket after making a crucial 70 for England on debut at The Oval.

Bell was hit on the shoulder before he had scored, but said: "You don't mind wearing a few here and there.

"I wasn't in too much pain initially, the adrenalin kicks in and it was just a bit of a dead arm really."

The Warwickshire youngster added: "It was fantastic to put on a partnership of 100 with Michael Vaughan."

Bell said the pitch was not particularly easy to bat on.

"The odd ball seemed to stop a bit so it was difficult to time it to begin with."

"Being on nought for quite a bit of time didn't worry me. I'm in good form and I was sure the runs would come - the nerves were going until I got off the mark, but the longer I was in there, the better it got."

It was a timely effort by Bell with the England selectors due to announce the squad for the winter tour to South Africa on Wednesday.

He could miss out with Mark Butcher and Graham Thorpe likely to return, but Bell insisted he was not thinking about the future.

A lot of my upbrining was spent watching Brian Lara
Ian Bell

"I'll play this Test match and then hope to go back and help Warwickshire win the Championship. What happens after that will happen."

West Indies captain Brian Lara, a former hero of Bell's during his spell with Warwickshire in the mid-1990s, offered generous praise for the 22-year-old.

"He showed a lot of maturity in his innings and what I liked about him is that he seemed to find the gaps every time he went on the attack.

"That is the sign of a quality player," Lara commented.




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