Bell toils again but centurion Trott insists England pal will bounce back

ENGLAND batsman Jonathan Trott has backed Warwickshire colleague Ian Bell to recover from his slump after showing him the way with a century in the second tour match in Sri Lanka.

Trott (right) and fellow opener Andrew Strauss both hit tons before retiring as England declared on 272-4, ending day two 203 runs behind a Sri Lankan Development XI, who made 44-1 before stumps.

Off-form Bell, who also struggled against Pakistan in the Middle East earlier this year, continued to toil, managing just 14, but Trott insists serious concerns over his county team-mate remain unwarranted.

“In the 12 months before the UAE tour [against Pakistan], Ian was probably our leading run-scorer with Alastair Cook,” said Trott.

“He’s obviously had a few bad Tests, which is disappointing, but he’ll want to put that right. I’ve played a lot of cricket with him for Warwickshire and England so I know his game pretty well. He looks in good touch and he’ll be okay.”

Bell is one of England’s main worries ahead of the first of two Tests, which starts on Monday. Fast-bowler Stuart Broad continued his recovery from a sprained ankle by trapping Malinga Warnapura for lbw, his fourth wicket of the match