Bell backs England duo

Ian Bell hopes England can extend their lead on Saturday

Ian Bell hopes England can extend their lead on Saturday

First published in National Sport News © by

Batsman Ian Bell believes England are back on track as they look to establish a commanding position in the fourth Investec Test against India.

After a superb first day, England were pegged back slightly on the second morning at Emirates Old Trafford as India's pacemen threatened to bring the tourists back into contention.

But after slipping to 170 for six - just 18 ahead - Joe Root helped put England back in the box seat in an unbroken stand of 67 with Jos Buttler.

Root was unbeaten on 48 and Buttler 22 not out as England reached 237 for six, 85 in front, before heavy rain, and then a waterlogged outfield, prevented further play.

Bell, earlier dismissed for 58, said: "It is poised very nicely.

"Hopefully tomorrow we can get past a 150 lead, which would put us in a nice position.

"So far it has been a great Test match, probably the best cricket wicket we have had all season - good pace, good to bat on - something there for everyone."

Bell backed Root and Buttler to continue taking the game away from India.

He said: "Hopefully the sun is shining tomorrow and it's good to bat.

"Overheads make a big difference but they certainly are a pair that can take this game forward for us.

"If the likes of Jos Buttler bat for a period of time, they are going to score at a rate.

"We've got two good young guys there who can move this game forward for us."

India seamer Varun Aaron believes the tourists can still haul themselves back into the match.

Aaron, who ended the day with figures of three for 48 to his name, said: "As the game is poised at the moment, England are ahead obviously, but they aren't too much ahead.

"If we get a couple of quick wickets, even a 100-run lead is quite manageable on this wicket.

"It has changed drastically from what we saw in the first session of day one, and I am sure it will get flatter as the match progresses."

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