London: England batsman Ian Bell has immense respect for the Indian cricket team but says he can`t over-respect the World No.1 Test side.
Bell said England are eagerly looking forward to snatch the World No.1 Test team tag from India. England can achieve the major goal if they win the four-match series by two clear Tests.
But against a full-strength Indian squad it would be a tough task. The Indian team has been bolstered with the return of Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir who were among players rested for the West Indies tour. Virender Sehwag will miss at least the first two Tests as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery.
Zaheer Khan, who took 18 wickets in the last series here, is also expected to form a potent bowling attack with with Ishant Sharma, while Harbhajan Singh will be their main spin option.
Bell said England won`t be overawed by the presence of proven match winners in the Indian team.
“We respect them, but you can`t over-respect them. You have to have the confidence that you can beat them,” Bell was quoted as saying by a website.
Bell said the presence of world class players in the Indian team will inspire England.
“India are No. 1 in the world and you don`t just do that by having six great batsmen, you do that by taking 20 wickets. They`ve got world-class bowlers, but that can also bring the best out of our team.
“Last time here Zaheer was incredible and Harbhajan Singh just hit 400 Test wickets so it`s a massive challenge,” he added.
Bell said England have to raise their game like they did during their Ashes triumph in Australia during the winter.
“When we played in the Ashes we raised our game and that`s what we need to do in this series. It`s two form teams going head-to-head and you can`t ask for better than that. It`s the No. 1 form of the game and as players we want to keep it that way,” he said. ZEECRIC