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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006, 08:49 GMT
Bell promises England will fight
Ian Bell
Bell scored his seventh Test fifty at the Gabba
Ian Bell vowed England would fight tooth and nail to save the first Test after Australia built a huge lead of 626 after three days in Brisbane.

Bell top scored for England with 50 as they made 157 and England may now have to bat for two days to save the match.

"We've got to believe we can do it too and that's the challenge, to fight as hard as we can and keep Australia out there as long as possible," said Bell.

"We've got to send the message that we're not just here to be walked over."

Bell, who was the only batsman to reach 50 in England's first innings, added: "That's the way this team has been the last couple of years and I don't see why it should change.

Playing quality spinners in the sub-continent has helped my game progress

Ian Bell

"But fair play to Australia, they put the ball in the right areas and it worked for them, it was a difficult day."

Bell, whose innings was his seventh Test half-century, added the England camp was surprised that Australia skipper Ricky Ponting decided not to enforce the follow-on, despite holding a first innings lead of 445.

"It gives our bowlers a chance to have some more time in the middle," said the Warwickshire man.

"It was a little bit strange as there's two more days to bat and we've got to make the most of that."

606: DEBATE
FE

On a personal note, Bell said he was pleased to put a poor 2005 Ashes series, when he averaged just 17, behind him.

"That was quite a while ago now and I think my game's moved forward since then," said Bell.

"We've played in the sub-continent in the last 12 months and playing quality spinners has helped my game progress.

"I want to play well and prove a few people wrong. I enjoyed my time in the middle and hopefully it's the start of a good series for me."



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