Ashes 2015: Ian Bell has England future - Andrew Strauss

Ian Bell celebrates winning the Ashes in The Oval dressing room
Bell has scored 22 Test centuries for England - only Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen have more

Ian Bell remains an important part of the England Test team, says director of cricket Andrew Strauss.

The 33-year-old batsman said he would "take stock" when asked about his future on Sunday as England celebrated a 3-2 Ashes series win over Australia.

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Strauss wants 'hungry and driven' Bell

"If he's got the motivation and drive to continue, then he's still got an important part to play," said Strauss.

"We know the number of high-quality performances we've seen from him over the years."

Warwickshire right-hander Bell has now played in five Ashes-winning teams, in which time he has scored more than 7,500 Test runs for England in 115 games.

He was moved up to number three in the batting order this summer, but his form has slumped - he averaged 26.87 against Australia in this series compared to 62.44 in the last Ashes series on home soil in 2013.

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"He's at the stage of his career when he'll be thinking about what his future looks like," Strauss, who played alongside Bell for England and captained him for three years, told BBC Radio 5 live.

"For all those players who played an important part in the Ashes, it's time to sit down and take a couple of days off reliving the whole series in their mind without all the pressure on their shoulders."

Captain Alastair Cook said after England's Ashes win: "Ian is a class player and I hope he's around for a few more years."

Former England spinner Graeme Swann
"Ian Bell had a very disappointing series by his standards. He needs to score heavily in the UAE to convince himself and others that he still has a long future in the team."
Read Swann's Ashes player ratings

England play away series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and South Africa this winter.

Strauss added: "Those two locations in particular are very tough.

"We have to play a lot better than we have done this summer and make some big improvements in a short space of time.

"After the winter, it will be a good gauge of where we are as a Test-playing nation."

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