England batsman Ian Bell said on Wednesday it felt "amazing" to be on the verge of his 100th Test. (AFP Photo)
England batsman Ian Bell said on Wednesday it felt "amazing" to be on the verge of his 100th Test.
The 32-year-old Warwickshire right-hander is in line to become only the 12th England player to complete a century of Test appearances when the team face Sri Lanka in the second and final match of their series at Headingley on Friday.
"It's amazing to achieve this (100 caps). I wouldn't say it's all been straightforward, there have been some real lows as well as highs," Bell, who endured an awkward transition between rising star and senior pro told Sky Sports News.
"I've really enjoyed the challenges we've had. The last few years have been brilliant.
"I feel lucky. When you look back when you finish I think that I've been very lucky to play in a great period of English cricket," added Bell, England's current cricketer of the year and a member of several Ashes-winning sides -- as well as the team thrashed 5-0 in Australia last year.
"There have been some great players that I've played with and I'm excited by the new challenges ahead of us as well."
Bell who made 56 and nine as Sri Lanka clung on for a draw in the first Test at Lord's, has been one of England's mainstays in recent years, with 20 hundreds and 40 fifties in his 99 Tests to date.
Tuesday saw England fined by the International Cricket Council for their slow over-rate at Lord's, but Bell insisted he did not expect a repeat display at Headingley.
"We took that bit longer than normal so hopefully we can tweak a little bit here and there to get back up to speed," he said.
"We certainly tried as much as we can to get round as fast (as we could) with a four-man seam attack, and I imagine here again with predominantly seam bowling we're going to have to get around as quick as we can."