Ahmedabad: England’s Ian Bell is set to miss the second Test against India in Mumbai from November 23-27 in order to be present for the birth of his first child. The 30-year-old batsman is expected to fly home after the first Test against India here to be with his wife Chantal Louise Bastock.
"Obviously you are thinking of home and the excitement of a new baby that I have going on over the next couple of weeks but I am also thinking how important it is to get the cricket right as well,” Bell told reporters on Wednesday. "It is a little bit tricky but while I am here I want to score as many runs as I can in the first test match and put in a performance that can hopefully help win us that first match and contribute which is what I want to do."
Bell has batted thrice during England’s pre-series warm-ups with scores of 5, 4 and 28 not out and admitted that he had been preoccupied. "Obviously when you come on tour you want to start pretty well and you want to get as much time as you can in the middle," he said. "I was disappointed to miss out on runs in the first two innings but I will hopefully get some time in the middle next week."
The England batsman will most probably fly home for the birth of his first child before the second Test in Mumbai.
In Bell’s absence, Samit Patel could benefit after scoring a century against India A and fifty against Mumbai A. "It is only practice matches at the moment but it is always good to have some runs under your belt and a few wickets to boost confidence and that is what practice games are for," Patel said. “I have just got to keep doing what I am doing and get in form."
The first Test starts in Ahmedabad on November 15. England play their final three-day practice match against Haryana here from Thursday.