Jun 11 2012
Andy Flower has indicated Ian Bell will open the batting after replacing Kevin Pietersen in England's one-day international squad.
Pietersen's retirement from limited-overs internationals left team director Flower searching for a replacement ahead of the three-match ODI series against the West Indies and he has turned to the Warwickshire batsman who made a fluent unbeaten 76 on Sunday in the drawn third Test at Edgbaston.
Flower said: "It is safe to assume he (Bell) will open."
He went on: "We don't want him to do a similar job to Pietersen, we want him to be Ian Bell and play great international cricket.
"He's a very experienced cricketer, even though he's only 29 or 30. He's got a lot of international experience and he's in great form, very confident at the moment.
"You saw some of that form and skill yesterday. With the two new white balls we want great quality batsmen up front and he is one of those.
"He's really good quality. We believe he can form a successful partnership with (Alastair) Cook. Of course there are alternatives and we've considered them very carefully.
"But we believe the man who has got the best chance of making it a success against two new white balls is Ian Bell. I'm really excited to see him take up that challenge."
Bell had also been left out of the one-day team after making only one half-century in his last 14 innings and with England building towards the next World Cup, in Australia and New Zealand in 2015, a younger option could have been considered.
But Flower said: "We had to weigh up whether to get someone younger than him in. But we think he's the best option for us and he's only 30 years old."