England v New Zealand: Ian Bell fit for second Test at Headingley

Second Test: England v New Zealand

  • Venue: Headingley
  • Dates: Fri 24 to Tues 28 May
  • Start time: 11:00 BST

Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 LW & via BBC Sport website, mobiles and BBC Sport app; live text commentary on BBC Sport website, mobiles and app

Ian Bell has been passed fit for England's second Test with New Zealand at Headingley, starting on Friday.

The Warwickshire batsman, who suffered a bout of tonsillitis during the first Test victory at Lord's, is included in an unchanged 12-man squad.

Yorkshire players Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root are both hopeful of playing their first Test on their home ground.

Key man in the middle order

Only Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott have a better batting average than Ian Bell in the England squad for the second Test. The 31-year-old has scored 5,889 runs in his 87 Tests at an average of 46.

"We need to produce another strong performance to secure a series win," said England selector Geoff Miller.

Bell spent the majority of England's 170-run victory off the field with illness following a first-innings 31 on the opening day, and batted at number eight in the second innings.

Yorkshire all-rounder Tim Bresnan is hoping to play his first Test since undergoing elbow surgery last winter, and he will be competing with Middlesex paceman Steven Finn for a place in the bowling attack.

Miller believes there is still plenty for England players to work on as they seek to wrap up the two-Test series.

"It was pleasing to start the international summer with a win over New Zealand in the first Test," Miller added.

"I thought the team showed a lot of fighting spirit when under pressure to set up the victory.

"We are aware there are still areas that we need to improve on, and the players and coaches will be working hard before the second Test to ensure we continue to get better as a side.

"New Zealand showed again that they are a dangerous side."

England squad for second Test : Alastair Cook (Essex, captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Nick Compton (Somerset), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Matt Prior (Sussex, wk), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire).