LONDON: England batsman Ian Bell has hailed former batting coach Graham Gooch for laying the foundations for his stylish 167-run knock against India in the third Test.
Bell had gone 20 Test innings without a century prior to last week’s match at Southampton and he has revealed that a one-on-one session with Gooch in Edgbaston after the second Test was the secret behind his return to form.
“We have a really good set-up with England, but sometimes it’s nice to have another set of eyes,” the Warwickshire batsman told Monday’s edition of the Daily Mail.
“I used to have Neil Abberley here at Warwickshire, someone you could chat through a few things with. Because they’re not so attached to the game, there’s less emotion involved, and it’s nice to do that with Goochy — a net session with someone who can help me reconnect in a different way.”
Gooch, England’s all-time leading scorer in Test matches, was released by the England and Wales Cricket Board in May, but he continues to play an active role in Bell’s preparations for matches.
“He does one-on-one net sessions really well. He never goes through the motions,” Bell said.
“He puts you under the pump, which is where you are in a Test match. He never gets over-complicated or technical. It’s about making sure you’re in the right frame of mind.
“As Goochy always says, you should always be looking to score runs, not just to survive. It’s nice to refresh that from time to time. Generally we’re always exchanging text messages.
“And if he’s available I try to make the most of him for a couple of hours. If I get the chance, I’d like to keep doing that.”
England’s 266-run victory in the third Test allowed them to level the five-match series at 1-1. The fourth Test begins at Old Trafford on Thursday.