To play spin like Dravid, Bell watches and learns
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Rahul Dravid's 461 runs and three centuries might have been the only silver lining during India's disastrous tour to England back in the summer of 2011. The recently retired former Indian captain might also have inadvertently provided some valuable batting tips to the opposition batsmen.
Stood at forward short-leg during a major part of Dravid's lengthy vigils, Ian Bell claims to have been one of the benefitters.
"I was lucky enough to watch Dravid from up close and he's a great role model. There's a lot of emphasis on good footwork," says the 30-year old from Warwickshire.
"When I've stood at silly point and short leg I've watched the footwork of players who are especially good against spin. Like Dravid. We can learn a lot from some of the Indian batsmen," Bell added.
While Dravid had to contend mainly with the pace and seam barrage of the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan, Bell reveals to have learned a lot about the technique of handling spinners from watching his idol bat against the likes of Graeme Swann and the part-timers.
"Rahul goes right forward or right back. It's not just about the sweep. There will be times when you have to play the sweep, but there will also be times when you run down and hit over the bowler's head," adds Bell.
While Jonathan Trott wasn't quite privy to as close a view of Dravid's exploits as Bell, he too takes no time to second his teammate's opinions on the secrets to success against spin on the subcontinent wickets.
"For me, playing spin is all about foot movement and head position. It's all about positive foot movement – back and forth – and not getting caught in the middle," explains Trott.