Bell believes batsmen hold the key to success in second Test

ENGLAND’S Ian Bell concedes he and his fellow batsmen will have to be more potent if they are to save the series with victory in the second Test against South Africa.

Alastair Cook’s 20th Test century proved a rare highlight when England were dismissed for 385 – a considerable contrast with South Africa’s 637-2 – and Bell is adamant that without drastic improvement only further disappointment will arise.

“We had to bat time in that second innings but unfortunately we didn’t face enough balls as a batting unit,” said Bell. “It was a real shame because we’ve done it before.

“Individually we can all look at the shots we got out to. If we are honest there were some soft dismissals right the way through the Test match. We pride ourselves on not only having a great bowling unit but we got ourselves into a position to score 500 in the first innings and we didn’t do that.

“We have to learn from those mistakes at Headingley.”

The second Test at Headingley begins 2 August.